Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
If you memorize the Ten Commandments but omit the Preamble, you have a stern code of law, Old Covenant in nature. If you permit the Preamble to be where God spoke it, you have a New Covenant set of ten wonderful promises.
The Hebrew scholars tell us that the "Thou shalt nots" are the simple future tense indicatives; believe this and you will never steal. "Adultery is a trap--it catches those with whom the Lord is angry," says the Wise Man (Prov. 22:14, GNB). Believe this Preamble, and you will never fall into that pit, says the Lord. (That is Good News!)
What does the Preamble say (Ex. 20:2)? It's New Testament, New Covenant, Good News:
"I am the Lord …" That holy name of infinite mystery; the Israelites were afraid to say it, but now we know He is "our Father in heaven" (Matt. 6:9), your intimate best Friend who's on your side.
"Your God ..." He's yours; He actually gave Himself to you.
"Who brought [past tense] you out of the land of Egypt ... ," in other words, out of darkness of soul. The Father brought you into the light; the Son has saved you from hell, having taken the darkness of your second death; and the blessed Holy Spirit ministers the sunshine of grace upon your soul 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
"Out of the house of bondage." "Sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace" (Rom. 6:14 sums up the Ten Commandments!). Christ redeemed you before you were born; the Father accepted you then "in Him."
As He gave Esau the birthright, so He has given you the gift of salvation (Heb. 12:16, 17; Gen. 25:34; Rom. 5:15-18). The Holy Spirit is telling your heart about it--don't despise or sell it. Now, believe the Preamble.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: April 25, 2006.
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