When I was a little girl, we often sang the following at church:
“He did not bring us out this far, to take us back again.
He brought us out, to take us into the Promised Land.” 
Every now and then, these sorts of tunes from childhood bubble up in my mind and remind me of a Biblical story or truth.
It’s good to have the truth of God’s Word embedded in our hearts and minds.
God’s Word Is Given
Interestingly, this song lyric was derived from a verse in Deuteronomy when God first began to impart His Word to the Hebrews on Mt. Sinai after having delivered them from bondage in Egypt. Deuteronomy 6:23 records Moses’ words to the people “But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors.” This statement reminded Israel who was responsible for their deliverance and what He intended to give them. What followed were instructions (statutes or laws) for the Israelites, so they would know God more fully and honor him in how they lived.
In fact, verse 23 was intended as a response for the Israelites when their sons asked them what God’s statutes and judgments meant.  They were to describe how the Lord brought them out of slavery under Pharaoh in the land of Egypt. They would also explain that God then gave them His laws or statutes for their own good, so they could survive as a people group and display God’s holiness to the surrounding nations. 
So God brought them out of their bondage, gave them statutes (or laws) for their own good, and desired to bring them into a new land, which He had promised their ancestors. To form a proper understanding of who God was, they needed to remember who had saved them, how He had done it, and what He saved them from. (In fact, if we want to understand God for ourselves, we must also consider these things in our own lives.)
The Purpose of the Law
As God began to deliver His people from their bondage, He sent a series of plagues to thwart Pharaoh. As the Egyptians suffered each affliction, the Hebrews were spared. Even though the Hebrews were born sinners just like the Egyptians, God had chosen them to be His people. And had God not made atonement for their sin with the lambs’ blood they painted over their doorways, they would have also lost their firstborn sons in the final plague.
It is important for us to note that God essentially saved the Hebrews because He chose to. They did nothing to merit what He did for them. God chose to set His love on the Hebrews and purposed to set them apart from other nations, pointing to God through their holy lives. In this way, the nations of the earth would get a glimpse of the God who had created them. So the law served as a blueprint for holy living. It would protect and equip them for moral living.
I don’t know about you, but there have been times when I have had little respect for “the law.” I recall my teenage years when I seemed to have a lead foot and often merited speeding tickets. However, as I am a little older, I now regard the law as less restrictive and more protective.
Without the law, there would be chaos, injury, and no real sense of right and wrong. Everyone would have their own idea of what is moral and little to no accountability to help enforce it.
God doesn’t give us commands like, “Do not steal, do not lie, or do not commit adultery,” because He is trying to spoil all our fun. He knows certain actions are sinful and that they will lead to our destruction unless we avoid them. Sin always destroys. Of course, this is not how it is advertised, but it is the truth. Sin always promises pleasure, but it is often short-lived. And sin never only affects us when we sin. It has a ripple effect and typically leads to many casualties. We would be wise to realize God’s laws or commands are meant to help us.
While God determined to free the Hebrews physically from their bondage in Egypt, He also meant to keep them spiritually free by giving them His law on Mt. Sinai. Their obedience to Him as the one true God would provide for their blessing, protection, and provision. It would also be an outward display of their affection for God in their hearts.
After Moses read the Book of the Covenant, “[Israel] responded, ‘We will do everything the LORD has said; we will obey.’”  Then Moses went back up the mountain to record God’s statutes. But when God saw what the Israelites were doing, He told Moses,
“Go down [the mountain], because your people, whom you brought out of Egypt, have become corrupt. They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.’” 
This directly violated the commandments that they were to worship only God and not make idols for themselves.  Remember, they had already agreed to obey all God commanded. In fact, when they agreed to obey Him, they entered into a covenant with Him. But only days later, they disobeyed. Sometimes I wonder, “How could they have had such a quick change of heart by their worship of the calf?”
Come back tomorrow for the conclusion of Brought Out to Come In!
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