#43 Q: What is the preface to the ten commandments?
A: The preface to the ten commandments is in these words, I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
Exodus 20:2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
#44 Q: What does the preface to the ten commandments teach us?
A: The preface to the ten commandments teaches us that because God is the Lord, and our God, and Redeemer, therefore we are bound to keep all his commandments.
1 Peter 1:14-19 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy." And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one's deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
I am doing something a little different this week by combining last week's and this week's catechism. As you can see from the Q&As, they build off of each other and I felt they were too connected to separate them into two blog posts.
Perhaps some may find it odd that God would give a preface to his law. After all, he is God! He does not need to preface anything he commands. Notice, though, what God is doing here. He is reminding the Exodus community (and us) of who he is and what he has done for his people. Why should we obey this law that we're about to receive? Because God is Lord over all. He is our God, and he is our Redeemer. God, in this preface, is revealing something about himself. Yes, he is the sovereign Lord of all. He has a right to command what he wills and he has a right to demand and expect perfect obedience to his law. But here he is revealing that what he desires is that his people obey and follow his law out of a sense of joy and gratitude for who God is and what he has done for us in delivering us out of the bondage and slavery of sin and the devil. Why should we strive to keep the commandments of God? Not simply because he is God, but because he is our God, the God who has made us a people when we were not a people. The God who has made us into a holy nation, a royal priesthood, a chosen race, a people for his own possession. When we reflect and meditate on this truth, how can we not have a deep longing and desire to serve and please God as he has commanded?