When God administered the Ten Commandments, He began by stating, “I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Ex 20:2). In Egypt, the Israelites had no freedom, dignity, or hope. Through His deliverance, God revealed Himself as the true God who cares for them. His commandments reminded them of His salvation and kept them from falling back into any form of bondage to sin. God gave them the commandments so they would have true freedom. God gave them the commandments because He loved them.
Yet every time the chosen people encountered trials or obstacles, they completely forgot what God had done for them. They forgot about the pillar of cloud and fire that protected them; they forgot about the daily miracles of food, water, and clothing. They complained, “Because the LORD hates us, He has brought us out of the land of Egypt to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us” (Deut 1:26-27). They lacked faith in God’s promises, power, and love. God had carried them as a man carries his son, but they were unable to remember any of the miracles God had performed (Deut 1:31-33).
We are no different. In the face of difficulties we complain, “How could You do this to me?” We ask God, “Do You really love me?” or, “Do You even exist?” Blind to the miracles God gives us every single day, we set aside prayer and the word of God and focus on the pleasures of the world. When we think about our faithlessness and ungratefulness, it is no wonder we struggle to feel God in our prayers and His abidance in our lives. We take for granted the things He has given us and we don’t see how much He has already loved us.
God gave us His commandments because He loves us and cannot bear to see us remain slaves to sin: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 Jn 5:3). Let us strive to fear Him and keep His commandments, for in keeping them, we will be set free.