But they rebelled against Me and would not obey Me. They did not all cast away the abominations which were before their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said, ‘I will pour out My fury on them and fulfill My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.’ 9 But I acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles among whom they were, in whose sight I had made Myself known to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
10 “Therefore I made them go out of the land of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness. 11 And I gave them My statutes and showed them My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them.’ [fn2] 12 Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them. 13 Yet the house of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness; they did not walk in My statutes; they despised My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them’; [fn3] and they greatly defiled My Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out My fury on them in the wilderness, to consume them. 14 But I acted for My name’s sake, that it should not be profaned before the Gentiles, in whose sight I had brought them out. 15 So I also raised My hand in an oath to them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, ‘flowing with milk and honey,’ [fn4] the glory of all lands, 16 because they despised My judgments and did not walk in My statutes, but profaned My Sabbaths; for their heart went after their idols. 17 Nevertheless My eye spared them from destruction. I did not make an end of them in the wilderness.
18 “But I said to their children in the wilderness, ‘Do not walk in the statutes of your fathers, nor observe their judgments, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am the LORD your God: Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them; 20 hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God.’
The man who obeys them(my statutes and my judgments) will live by them. So they will know that I the Lord made them holy.
” I gave them My statutes and showed them My judgments, ‘which, if a man does, he shall live by them.’ …”
“… they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them….”
Three times the Lord mentions also, the keeping or not keeping of the Sabbaths as holy. Three times He talks of following His commands, being obedient. He goes on to remind them of what he has done for them, and in contrast what they have done in disobedience, going after their own ways. He stays the final, complete judgment upon them showing mercy for his name’s sake. But there is punishment, there are consequences. A reminder that what we sow we reap.
Is this message relevant for today? Do we see a disrespect of God, a desecration of his Sabbaths, a turning away from following his commands to follow the laws of humanity? Do we see a rising of a love of the creation rather than the creator? Those idols were representations of the creation, they were expecting the creation to guide, lead, and provide for them, rather than looking to the Creator. Does this make sense? Would we look to an object such as a motor vehicle, made by man, to find a solution to a malfunction or would we ask the one who made it? Do we go to the manual that comes with it or ask the vehicle itself? How silly is that? We have the Creator to go to, we have the manual to consult, the Scriptures, why would we look to ourselves? Why would we trust the sayings of humanity? And yet that is what we tend to do, believers and unbelievers alike. We possess within us as believers, the Holy Spirit who grants remembrance and understanding. We possess the availability to turn to our God, in trust and faith in Him for the guidance we need. We can say He is our God. Echo what He says:
“…I am the LORD your God.’…”