It is interesting to note that many people, when quoting the first commandment, leave off the prior verse. In fact, quoting Exodus 20:2 first would give many an understanding of verse 3 which says, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
The Lord has brought us “out of Egypt” and we do not want to return. “I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Exodus 20:2). Have you ever considered the kind of bondage in which you were ensnared while all the time thinking you were free? This world is full of attractions that bind the unsuspecting to its whirlwind of never-ending, time-consuming activities which, in themselves may not be that bad, but which pull your thoughts away from the heavenly attractions. It is the goal of the god of this world to attract people’s thoughts away from the God of heaven!
“Many who should be setting their tents nearer to the land of Canaan are pitching their camp nearer to Egypt. They are not living in the light of the Sun of Righteousness. Many attend places of amusement to gratify the taste, but no spiritual strength is gained by so doing, and you will find yourself on the losing side. To encourage the love of amusement is to discourage the love of religious exercises, for the heart becomes so crowded with trifling, with what is pleasing to the natural heart, that there is no room for Jesus. …” That I May Know Him, 307.
God does not want you to slip back to Egypt—back into bondage! “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1–3).
The God of heaven has rescued us from the land of Egypt—the world, the house of bondage. When God brought His people out of Egypt, He asked them to follow Him, to give Him glory and worship. We can become so used to following the Egyptians, the world, their ways and habits that we continue to fall back. The question to ask ourselves is, “Are we still in Egypt and following her ways?”
Ask God to open your eyes that you may see where your heart is tending, toward the world’s ways or toward heaven’s ways. Many are steadily retreating toward Egypt. “Instead of going forward to perfection, they are going back to the darkness and bondage of Egypt. Their minds are not exercised unto godliness and true holiness.” Testimonies, vol. 2, 123.
“Let it be the ambition of those who profess to believe present truth, to be written as men whose lives are hid with Christ in God, men whom gold cannot buy, who though tempted as was Moses, like him, esteemed the reproaches of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 1, 97.
Heavenly Father: Take my heart and keep it focused on following You. I do not want to be in bondage to the world’s activities and ways. You have brought me out of the house of bondage and have given me freedom through Jesus. Please give me the grace not to return to the attractions and whirlwind of this world. Amen.