What if the 10 Commandments were God’s way of saying “I love you, will you marry me”? What if we did not look at them as legalistic, a set of do’s and don’ts, but instead looked at them as God’s marriage contract with us?
If you look at the events leading up to the giving of the 10 Commandments, you realize that God wanted the Hebrews for His own. In Exodus 6 it says, He saved them, brought them out and redeemed them for His own. Then he led them through the desert and brought them to Mount Sinai. In a way the desert was the courtship period because that was where they got to know each other. When the Israelites got to Mt. Sinai, they were ready for the wedding vows and the wedding contract.
In many ways, the Bible views the Sinai events as a wedding vow. What some would call legalism, God called love. We have always looked at them as a list of do’s and don’ts, but what if we changed our thoughts to “God loved us so much that he wanted to marry us and live with us and here is what each of us promises to do for the other as our marriage contract.” God says in Exodus 19:5. If you will, then I will. Reread them like this – God says “I love you over all the other nations in the world. So please:
- Don’t have any other lovers, no statues, no pictures
- Don’t take my name in vain (our name). I’ve given you my name, so don’t bring shame to us and don’t misuse it.
- Find time to love me and get to know me for who I really am.
- Get along with the rest of our family, don’t treat each other badly.
We’ve turned the Commandments into legalism. When it’s really a way to show God you love him. You show your love by telling him and doing things for him, just like you would your spouse. You want to make your spouse happy, right? Not having the Commandments would be like having a wedding without vows.
We have the privilege of being married to Almighty God, because we have been grafted into God’s olive tree.If you reread the Mount Sinai events and think of how much God must have loved us and all the things he did for us to bring us to His own, it should motivate us to want to please him. Can you remember back to your wedding and how beautiful your bride was and how happy you were and how much you wanted to please them? We need to reclaim that love affair, that feeling with God. We please him by obeying him. Jesus said, if you love me, you will keep my commandments.
God loves us like a bride! He called us “segullah” – His treasured possession. Marriage partners during this time in history would each give the other a treasured possession to keep as a symbol of the wedding. This is the word God uses – “segullah” – to describe us – we are His treasured possession.
We are the bride of Almighty God and His son, Messiah Jesus. They have done so much for me; I cannot help but want to do my part also, to love and obey. The people said, “Everything you have said we will do!” Jesus said, the most important commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and might (Matthew 22:34 – 40). This is how we say “I do” – by being obedient. Could we do any less? Tell the Lord, I Do!, I Do!, I Do!
About the author:
Bob is the creator of this site and a disciple of Ray Vander Laan. Along with his wife of 50 years, he teaches a Bible study at Christ’s Church in Roswell, NM. He is also an avid hunter and fisher.