By today, we have read through Leviticus 14:32 in reading through the Bible in 90 days. Reading through the commandments this week reminded me of studying the 10 commandments with our middle school youth a few years ago.
One of the things that stood out to me during that study was that God had a relationship with the people of Israel BEFORE He gave them His rules.
In Exodus 20 we read: I am Jehovah thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.(Ex.20:2) God was already their God. He had already delivered them. His deliverance of them and His relationship with them was not dependent on their keeping of His commandments. Instead He was giving them His commandments BECAUSE they were His people.
One of our youth leaders gave this very practical example. Pretend you have a dog. Let's call him Fido. You choose Fido from the shelter and bring him home to your house. You love Fido, and he is your dog. Because you love him, you build a fence to keep Fido in the yard. One day, lured by the bright shiny cars driving by, Fido gets out of the fence. But just because Fido is out of the fence, he does not cease to be your dog. You want to put him back in the fence so he will be safe. But you still have a relationship with him- even out of the fence.
Our relationship with God is primary. He gives us rules within that relationship to keep up safe. When we try to set up the rules outside of a relationship, it doesn't work. When we try to work hard enough to have a relationship, it doesn't work.
This week we'll be reading through more of the books of law and reading more about God's relationship with His people.