And God spoke all these words:
“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods beforeme.
“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
“You shall not murder.
“You shall not commit adultery.
“You shall not steal.
“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20, verses 1 through 17.
The Ten Commandments. Today, do we still need them? If we do, what do they mean? Why would a loving God tell us so many things not to do? Why all the strict rules?
Perhaps if there are questions like this then the subject is still relevant. Here in twenty first century America, when we think of the Ten Commandments, many of us think of the Cecil B. DeMille movie. Up until I really started diving into God’s Word, that’s what I thought of. I thought of the cheesy acting, the blue-eyed Charlton Heston as Moses, and the fiery finger in the clouds etching out tables of stone for Moses to smash at the bottom of the mountain.
Or there’s the parody from Mel Brooks in “History of the World, Part I.” 15, not ten until an untimely accident changes history. It’s bawdy humor, but funny.
There’s so much more.
So for the next few weeks, we’re going to walk through the Ten Commandments and some things that you may or may not have thought about them. I must admit: this idea isn’t original. It was inspired by my friends, Mark Schaefer and Anthony Celia, who used the Ten Commandments as a vehicle for prayer and confession at our church. Their good idea got me to thinking that there is so much more to the Ten Commandments than what we may have thought for so long. They aren’t a set of rules and boundaries, and yet they are. More than that, they’re an expression of love from a God who gave his favored people what they needed instead of just what they wanted. Where they wanted gold, food, and conquest, he gave them codes to live by so that they might rely on His love and providence more. From that, everything else could flow.
We’re no different.
It’s more than a cheesy movie. So much more. Come back tomorrow and let’s dive in together. We’re ready for our close up now, Mr. DeMille…but that’s a different movie.
Lord, write your Commandments on my heart, then open they eyes of my heart that I might love You more because of them.
Read Exodus chapters 1 through 19.