In Biblical times, the Jews traditionally taught that the first of the Ten Commandments is “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of slavery,” rather than “You shall have no other gods before Me.” However, many Reformed Christians argue that the former is a statement rather than a command. In fact, commentary after commentary — written by both Christians and Jews — has been dedicated to this subject, and many build a compelling case for it being a statement at best. Nevertheless, because I favor the Jewish interpretation of Scripture, I’m convinced that not only is it a command, but that it’s also a promise. In fact, when we note that the last word in the sentence is “slavery,” it points us to the theological truth that the Lord is always ready and willing to lead us out of our personal Egypt. We see in the exodus story that God faithfully rescued His people from captivity at the hand of Pharaoh, but when they found themselves in the wilderness, they wanted to go back to the place they left behind. Their fear of the unknown and the uncertainty of what was to come kept them from fully embracing what He had in store for their future. Today, we also face seasons when it seems safer to stay in slavery than to follow our Lord into uncharted territory; yet He will never stop prodding our hearts to get us to a place of freedom. Even if we can’t wholly comprehend all that awaits us on the other side of brokenness, we can act on the fact that our Heavenly Father wants to rescue us from every kind of worldly bondage.
My friend, you are a child of God, and you can trust with full assurance that He is willing and able to break chains, provide protection, and save you from every manner of evil. He is your Great Redeemer, and when you follow Him, the path invariably leads to freedom. Though there may be moments on your journey when you’re tempted to turn back to what felt safe, keep moving ahead, and let Him deliver you from desolation and lead you to a land that overflows with blessings and beauty!