It seems ingrained into humankind that to have a relationship with God we must fix our bad habits. However, the Bible points out that relationship always comes before rules. The nation of Israel has a relationship with God for hundreds of years before they were given the Ten Commandments. The fact that God gave them any rules at all shows they were already connected to him! After all, you don’t give rules to children who aren’t yours! You don’t place a dog in your fenced in backyard unless it it your dog. And we are not given rules by God to establish a relationship with him but as a sign that we already have one. We want our students to feel included in God’s plan and not simply fenced in by God’s plan.
Overview of Week 1:
Imagine you are on a desert plain in front of a million people camped out at the foot of a mountain. The people have no civil government, no laws, no justice system, no police force, and no cultural ideas of right and wrong. Imagine you are asked to write out the laws of this new nation. What comes to mind? What would you include in your first 10 laws? No murder, no stealing, or maybe no lying? In Exodus we find this very scenario, and yet God doesn’t start by listing off a bunch of do’s and don’ts. Instead, he reminds his people about the relationship he has with them.
“I am the Lord you God.” – Exodus 20:2
Relationship always comes before rules.