But that wasn't the only thing God did there.
In fact, it wasn't even the first thing.
Before God gave Moses the Commandments, He gave Moses something to tell the Israelites.
God told Moses to tell His people what He expected of them.
And characteristically, His instructions were short and to the point:
Now, if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession.--Exodus 19:5
He told them two things:
Keep your promise to me.
If they did these two things, God would open up the very heavens to them. He would make them His treasured possession. He would make them His. He would make them Holy.
Sure, He gave them the Commandments, but only as exposition of what He'd already said--words that exposed His heart of love and desire for His people.
God doesn't just want us to follow a bunch of rules.
God wants us to want Him.
That's the importance of the Commandments.
The Commandments are signposts to the heart of God.
And His heart is where He wants us to remain.
God offered to the Israelites a look at His own heart.
And God's offer to the Israelites is made to us, too--through Jesus, who said,
"Come to me...."--Matthew 11:28
That is the offer at the heart of the commandments.
Come to me.
God's commandments, first etched in stone, then the same message written in Scripture and preserved for all ages, are not rules. They are His very arms opened wide in invitation.
Come to me.