Sermon for Wedding of Eric and Michelle, Saturday, November 14th, 2020 at First Presbyterian Church at Unionville, NY (BPC)
[Exo 20:2 ESV] 2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”
The account of the Exodus is the National epic of Israel, the people chosen of God to be blessed by him.
Here in the Exodus we have the Ten Commandments.
But before all the “thou shall’s” and “thou shall not’s” we have this prologue; this preface:
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.”
In this we see the reason why God is giving His people the commandments. It follows from love. Because God loved them he brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and towards the promised land. And because God loves His people He gives them the commandments.
It is sometimes difficult for us to think of the commandments as something given to us because we are loved. It is perhaps human nature to think of laws as burdensome. But the laws of God follow from love. They are for the benefit of God’s people.
And the people of God follow the commandments.
Grammatically, in the Hebrew language, these 10 are not first commands (in the imperative mood) but are statements of fact (in the indicative mood). This means that we should see the commandments not so much as how we SHALL live, but as how we WILL live.
You will love the Lord your God and following from that love, you will live in these ways:
You will not have any other gods before him.
You will not make for yourself a carved image
You will not take the Lord’s name in vain
You will remember the sabbath day and keep it holy
You will honor your fathers and their mothers
You will not murder
You will not commit adultery
You will not steal
You will not bear false witness
You will not covet
All of this will be because you love the Lord your God. And because, even more, He loves you.
These ten commandments then, we might call “ten descriptions” of the believer’s life.
They are the descriptions of our lives that follow from love. We live in these ways not to appease God—for Christ has already accomplished our salvation—but thanking God for what He has done and knowing that He guides us in the way that is best for us.
The commandments rest on the foundation of God’s love for His people. The commandments come from the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
For Israel, this was a time of great transition, as they were called to follow the Lord as a nation.
And for Eric, and Michelle, today marks a time of great transition as you are called to follow the Lord together as husband and wife.
Following from your love for one another you are called to pray for each other, to respect each other, to be patient with each other, and to encourage each other.
It is true that all analogies break down at some point. And so I do not intend to compare your previous singleness with slavery in Egypt. Singleness can be a blessed condition from the Lord. But as you enter into this new life together, you have left the old behind. You are no longer Eric … and … Michelle, you are “Eric and Michelle.” One flesh, with one bank account, one last name, and one new life together.
Together then, following from the Lord’s love for you, you WILL love the Lord your God, and you Will love each other in holy matrimony. This is the way of the Lord as He describes His people. Love will be your nature.
Your love for one another and your love for God will follow from God’s love for you.
Praise the Lord, and let no one separate what He has put together. Praise be to God. Amen.