The ‘Worship of Yahweh’
Matthew Henry Commentaries
The preface of the Law-maker: I am Yahweh, thy Sovereign, Exo_20:2.
1. Yahweh asserts His own authority to enact this law in general: “I am the Sovereign who command thee all that follows.”
2. He proposes Himself as the sole object of that religious worship which is enjoined in the first four of the commandments. They are here bound to obedience by a threefold cord, which, one would think, could not easily be broken.
Because Yahweh is the Sovereign – Yahweh is . . . self-existent, independent, eternal, and the fountain of all being and power; therefore He has an incontestable right to command us. He that gives being (life) may give law; and therefore He is able to bear us out in our obedience, to reward it, and to punish our disobedience.
He was their Sovereign, as Yahweh in covenant with them, their Sovereign by their own consent; and, if they would not keep His commandments, who would? He had laid Himself under obligations to them by promise, and therefore might justly lay His obligations on them by precept (doctrine).
Though that covenant of peculiarity is now no more, yet there is another, by virtue of which all that are baptized are taken into relation to Him as their Sovereign, and are therefore unjust, unfaithful, and very ungrateful, if they obey Him not.
He had brought them out of the land of Egypt; therefore they were bound in gratitude to obey Him, because He had done them so great a kindness, had brought them out of a grievous slavery into a glorious liberty. They themselves had been eye-witnesses of the great things Yahweh had done in order to their deliverance, and could not but have observed that every circumstance of it heightened their obligation.
They were now enjoying the blessed fruits of their deliverance, and in expectation of a speedy settlement in Canaan; and could they think any thing too much to do for Him that had done so much for them?
Nay, by redeeming them, He acquired a further right to rule them; they owed their service to Him to whom they owed their freedom, and whose they were by purchase (in exchange of freedm).