Exodus 20 is the chapter where God gives Moses the Ten Commandments. And for most of my life, I've skimmed the first couple of verses, so I could get right into what the Ten Commandments are. I didn't so it intentionally, but I thought I was getting to the important part.
Yesterday, when I began reading that chapter, I found myself stopping on the second verse. I didn't even make it to the first commandments, but I felt like God was telling me to stop there and spend some time on that verse. As I did, it felt like God was reminding me of something very important.
"I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery." (Exodus 20:2)
Less than twenty words, yet it contains so much.
"I am . . ."
God was declaring that He was speaking about Himself - about Who He is.
I sometimes wonder if, when he heard God start a statement this way, Moses went back to his encounter with God as the burning bush in Exodus 3. In verse 14 of that chapter, God tells Moses to identify Him as, "I AM WHO I AM . . . I AM has sent me to you." I think after an experience like a burning bush, Moses would remember it every time God started something with these words.
". . . the . . ."
A seemingly insignificant little word, but so important. Using this word says there is only one of what follows.
". . . LORD . . .:
In most English translations, this word is in all uppercase letters, indicating that the word used is Yahweh. The Israelite's most valued and honoured name for God. God was making sure there was no doubt in their minds Who He was.
". . . your . . ."
It was personal. God wasn't just the Lord of some people somewhere. He was the Lord of Israel. He declared Himself to be that, and in the process, declared them to be His.
". . . God . . ."
He was the One they were to worship. The One they were to follow.
After making sure they knew Who He was, God took the rest of this verse to remind them of what He had done for them.
". . . who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery."
He had rescued them from their captivity - from their slavery. He reminded the Israelite's why He was so important to them and why He was "the LORD [their] God."
As I read and pondered this verse yesterday, I realized God was using this verse from His Word to speak specifically to me. God had the same message for me, that He started with when He gave the Israelites before He gave them the Ten Commandments.
He is the Lord my God, Who brought me out of the land of my captivity, out of the land of my slavery.
That's a pretty awesome message to be reminded of. God is my God. And He has rescued from so much. He has pulled me out of where I was trapped because of Who He was.
Maybe that is the same message God has for you today.
I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of [your captivity], out of the land of [your bondage].