The Law: Teaching Us How to Live for God

By Pr Herna Kong

It is interesting that before God gave the Ten Commandments to His people, He declared Himself as the Lord, the God who brought them out of the land of Egypt, from the place of slavery. And God spoke all these words: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery” (Ex. 20:1-2).

With this declaration, God reminded the Israelites that He is the God of redemption and the Ten Commandments were given to them not arbitrarily or solely to add to their burden, rather to remind them that they were His chosen people, people who were loved by Him. God longed for them to live as His redeemed people who lived differently from the time they were slaves in Egypt.

God had not set His people free so that they would be free to live as they pleased, rather that they could live for Him. They needed to remember the connection between salvation and how to live as His redeemed people. That was the whole point behind the exodus.

As we can see in the instructions God gave the parents in Israel in Deut. 6:20-24, when the children asked why they had to keep God’s law, their parents were to tell them the story of the exodus. This is because the only way their children could understand the meaning of the Law was by knowing its context. This connection between redemption and the Law is behind the whole purpose of the Law, which is to teach God’s redeemed people how to live for Him in a way that pleases Him.

We too have a story to tell—the story of our redemption by Jesus Christ. The story began with our slavery to sin. We were in such a helpless spiritual bondage. But God in His grace and love for us, set us free from sin and from Satan through the saving work of Christ. Jesus’ death and resurrection led to our great exodus from our spiritual bondage. Now, what comes next? Since God has set us free, are we to live as we please? Can we be saved but yet still live a sinful life? Of course not! God has set us free so that we may live for Him.

Let us respond to God’s amazing redemptive work for us by obeying Him as an expression of our heartfelt gratitude to Him and His immeasurable grace and love towards us.

Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day (Ps. 119:97, ESV).