“I am Adonai your God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
out of the abode of slavery.”
-The 1st WORD of God (Exodus 20:2)
Today we’re going to jump right into examining the 10 Words of God starting with the first one.
Notice I’m not using the term “commandments” anymore.
The reason is because the phrase “The 10 Commandments” is a manmade title and is nowhere to be found in Scripture.
And you want to know something else?
The Hebrew word for “command” or “commandments” also NEVER appears in this list of instructions.
The Hebrew word typically used for “command” or “commandment” is MITZVAH.
But I don’t even think that word is appropriate because technically speaking a MITZVAH is not part of the original Law.
It is more like a “ruling” like when a judge rules on an issue brought to him in court.
However, this is a totally separate discussion that I’m NOT going to get into here, or I’ll never finish this blog post.
Just know that the Hebrew word typically (and mistakenly) translated into “commandment” is DABAR.
And DABAR means “word”!
No two ways (or any way) around it!
So actually, the Greek translation of the Hebrew is right on.
“DECALOGUE” indeed means “10 words”.
Folks, if you think I’m harping on this issue too much, rest assured I’m not.
It IS a big deal.
These 10 Words falsely labeled “The 10 Commandments” by the gentile Christian church for too long now, rather than being commands are DECLARATIONS OF FACT proceeding from the mouth of God alone.
These are the fundamental bedrock principles upon which all of the Torah Laws to follow rest on.
The second falsehood I had to confront and deal with head on concerned the actual numbering of the WORDS themselves.
We learned that the 1st WORD is most definitely NOT “ye shall have no other Gods before me”.
It is “I am, YHVH your ELOHIM, who brought you out of the land of Egypt”.
In a pagan world where all gods had names and it was necessary to know exactly which god one was trying to communicate with, it was of utmost importance that the Lord introduce Himself to His people using his personal Name.
Okay with all of that said, let’s jump into what the 1st WORD of God is all about.
There are three important takeaways.
The first takeaway is all about the proper identity of God’s people.
When God says “I am YHVH your Elohim”, He is making it clear that He is the God of the Hebrew people.
He wants everyone present to understand that it was He who scourged Egypt.
It was He who freed them from bondage out of Egypt.
It was He who brought them to Mount Sinai.
And thus, it is ONLY with Israel (and those non-Hebrews who join Israel) with whom He will make a covenant.
The second takeaway is that those whom the Lord has saved have obligations to Him.
If there is any one point where I run into problems with Christians and receive more hate mail than any other topic, it’s got to be this point here.
See, in the gentile Christian world, so many believers honestly feel that “being saved” is the last “obligation” they ever have to the Lord.
They claim that attempting to follow the Lord’s commands after being saved is legalism.
This is a mistake.
The proper definition of legalism is attempting to justify oneself in God’s eyes by obeying His Commands BEFORE being redeemed or before having a relationship with Him.
However, AFTER being saved, the natural, normal and expected response is to follow the Lord’s commands.
FIRST, you enter into a personal relationship with the Lord and then AFTERWARDS you walk out your faith by obeying His Commands.
It seems like no matter how many times I try to point out that God saved Israel FIRST and then AFTERWARDS gave them His Law, some people are just not going to get it.
Okay, this leads me to the third and final takeaway.
The Torah principles, commands, and instructions are ONLY for those whom God has saved or redeemed.
This is an importance principle.
If you are a believer who has become one with Israel by pledging allegiance to the Jewish Messiah Yeshua, you take on certain obligations that the rest of the world does not have, whether you are a Jew or Gentile.