I've been reading Exodus, post-exodus. The Israelites have just been led out of Egypt, out of captivity, and they've come grumbling and complaining. I'd rather be in captivity where I had food to eat than led out here to this wilderness! And God gives them manna, graciously provides daily food from the sky, and gives them guidelines on how to live. Gather what you can eat for the day, but only that. The sixth day, gather twice as much because on the seventh day, there will be none. This Sabbath, this instruction from the Lord, this pattern of gathering and resting, will provide a structure for how Israel is to live.
In the morning, you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.
Then in chapter 20, God speaks to Moses and defines the kind of life that He calls for His people to live. The Ten Commandments indicate how Israel, and us too, are to remain faithful to the Lord. Love God, love people. These commandments aren't to be a set of rules to show us how we have strayed. God didn't create these commandments to use as a checklist - did that, haven't done that. We are in desperate need of God, of Jesus, of a Savior because we fail miserably at loving God and loving people. And what I love is that God provided. He didn't stay far away and hope His people figured out how to love Him. He didn't lead them out and let them aimlessly wander. He gave them direction, rhythm, structure, comfort, provision, compassion. Remember Me. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery! When things look scary and desperate, I am still the same God who led you out of Egypt.
There's something strange about these Israelites. I am one of them. There's a wonderful comfort in this God who rescues and who loves His people. When they don't trust Moses. When they say they'd rather be held captive again. When they don't listen to his guidelines. When they gather more manna when they need. When they don't trust that God will daily provide. God says, I am the LORD your God. LINDSAY, I am the LORD your God.