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Page 386


And God spake all these words, saying,

I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

- Exodus 20:1-2


In the Heidelberg Catechism, why are the Lord's Days dealing with God's law placed in the section dealing with thankfulness?

What lesson can be learned from the fact of God's first delivering Israel and then giving them His law? How does this differ from first giving them His law to earn their deliverance through obedience?

Presently, we will examine each of the four commandments on the first table, beginning with:


God spoke the preface to the Ten Commandments; He declared "I am the LORD thy God, which hath brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage"
(Exodus 20:2). Whenever God speaks, it is our duty to listen, remember, believe, and obey. The preface to the moral law establishes the basis upon which the Ten Commandments have been constructed - God's love; and the motive from which they are to be obeyed - love in return to God.

God's gracious love is displayed in the preface of the law in the following three ways:

    1. "I am the LORD" - LORD (Jehovah) is God's gracious, eternal, unchanging, covenant-keeping Name; the confidence of His people.

    2. "Thy God" -God is not referring to Himself here as the God whom all must obey, but here He emphasizes Hisgracious, personal, covenant tie with His children: He is their God in Jesus Christ.

    3. "Which hath brought thee out of the house of bondage" - God has graciously and wonderfully delivered His children: from Egypt (the world) and the house of bondage (sin).

Therefore, in thankful response to God's gracious deliverance, His children are to obey the Ten Commandments. First, God delivered His people; then He gave them His law to obey with loving gratitude.

Is the true God your God? Has He delivered you from your slavery and bondage to sin, world, and Satan? If so, then you by grace, will walk as if He is your God. Your deepest longing will be to love Him in return - to do that which pleases the LORD thy God, to obey His commandments.

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