After the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelled, you shall not do. And after the doings of the land of Canaan, where I bring you, you shall not do. Neither shall you walk in their ordinances.
You shall do my judgments, and keep my ordinances, to walk in them. I am the lord your god.
This is a very interesting commandment, if we take a closer look. It is obvious why the lord tells them to not act in the ways of the Egyptians or in the ways of the people of Canaan, for they are both wicked and far from the justice of the god. But more than that, it is phrased in an intriguing way, including both the land of their origin and the land of their destination.
Egypt is the land they were taken from, rescued, make from slaves into a free nation, capable of following their god and doing his will. Whereas in Egypt they were servants to the Egyptians, they suffered, their children were murdered, they were forced to build cities for the Pharaoh, once out of that place everything changed for them for the better (even if they used to complain a lot). All they saw there, how the Egyptians thought, spoke and acted, they were forbidden from imitating.
Canaan is the land the god was taking them to, the promised land, which the lord had given to them and to their descendants. But they had to work for it. Part of the “deal” so to speak, was that they had to drive out all the nations of that land due to their injustice and wicked ways. Israel was forbidden from mingling with them precisely for that reason. And even prior to their entry into the land, the lord was preparing them so that they could be firm in the face of temptation and reject any other paths than the lord’s (although they only partially succeeded).
How do I benefit from this knowledge? It is very direct, I just have to put myself in Israel’s shoes.
Whatever the god rescued me from, when he took me from the world and made me his son or daughter, I can no longer be. And whenever he sends me to do his will, I cannot act according to their ways. I can only follow his judgement and the guidance of the holy spirit. He is the lord my god.