The Ten Words come straight from the heart of Yahweh and His desire to be close to us in a heart relationship. God saves us first, and this is ultimately due to the sacrifice of the spotless Lamb of God, who was represented by the many lambs offered at the daily sacrifices. God provided the salvation of the world through the death of His only Son. God is thus “just and the justifier” of those who believe in Jesus (Rom. 3:26).

God is also the one who initiates and makes covenants with His people. This is such a binding relationship that it is often compared to a marriage. When Israel breaks the Ten Words, it is much more than disobedience; it breaks Yahweh’s heart in similar ways to a spouse having an affair. God is not ever vindictive, but He longs for His people to return to Him and has righteous jealousy like a true lover.

Yahweh holds people accountable and does not gloss over sin. God exhibits perfect health in all His relationships, and this is a powerful picture of God holding standards and yet being full of compassion. He does not want to give the people up, and the prophets are full of the heart of God crying out in anguish and pain, loathe to bring punishment, yet knowing that it is the only hope in His last-ditch effort to bring the people to repentance after centuries of doing evil and spurning His grace (cf. Hosea 11).

Jesus is also seen clearly in the Sabbath, celebrating His redemption of the people. This continues through the whole Bible, as the incarnate Christ does most of His miracles on Sabbath. In the Gospels, He is also continually seeking to bring the people back to the true meaning of Sabbath, connecting with God and helping other people.

One might wonder how Jesus can be seen in God “visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations” (v. 9). However, it is quite simple: there were often that number of generations living together at the same time, and consequences on one affected all the others. In addition, scientists have recently discovered epigenetics, which is the part of science in which the gene expression by the parent is actually passed on, not just the DNA itself. This means that alcoholics express certain genes in certain ways, and this makes their kids more likely to be alcoholics or struggle severely with temptation. But victory over sin also changes gene expression, and this can be passed on as well. The fact that God shows mercy for thousands of generations makes clear that the punishment passed down is not what He really wants, but only allows to make clear the heinousness of sin.