Therefore say to the children of Israel: “I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” (Exodus 6:6-7)
The last of the four promises made to Israel was that God would take them as His own people. Thus the process of redemption wasn’t completed until He had opened up the Sea and brought them through to the other side. Without this, Pharaoh would have lived and could have pursued and harassed Israel indefinitely. It was necessary that the man who claimed them as his be destroyed.
Once He brought the Hebrews out of Egypt, He led them to Mount Sinai that He might give them the Torah — the contract specifying how they should live now that they were delivered from bondage. Their redemption and deliverance was intended to lead to this ultimate goal – that He might take them as His people. But as His people there were certain expectations as to how they were to live because liberty without law leads to lawlessness. Thus the events of Sinai was the culmination of the Redemption. Accepting God’s instruction and keeping it identified them as His people.
Where followers are concerned, we should recognize the pattern established through these events. First of all, the crucifixion of Messiah — our redemption — is pointless without the Resurrection. As Paul said, if Messiah is not risen then we remain in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17) and the Adversary would retain power over us. So while we thank God for the Lamb that was slain, we praise God that He was raised from the dead. Furthermore, once we have been born again, we are no longer slaves to sin but have liberty in God.
Liberty in God, however, does not mean we get to do whatever we wish to do. Messiah said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” It is therefore expected that God’s people should live according to God’s standards as an expression of our devotion to Him and as a witness to others of His righteousness and holiness. We don’t obey Him in order to be saved; we obey Him because we are saved. He has taken us as His people and as such we are to live in a way that sets us apart from the world. Let us continue in that mission that the world may know that it is the LORD who reigns — first in our hearts and, eventually, over all the nations of the world.
Blessings and Shalom,