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The Ten Commandments are our end of a covenant with God that show us how to live in a community with one another as His people. “You shall have no other God’s before me.” During this time the Israelites would turn to false gods regularly, which as we know got them into a lot of trouble. Today, there are some 4,300 different religions. to choose from. It would appear we have avoided disaster by being followers of Christ and not some other deity, however we don’t have to worship a false god to break this Commandment.
I have caught myself deleting emails during church or missing church entirely to do homework, and that is not placing God above everything else. “You shall make no idols.”
To the Israelites this meant to stop making and worshipping golden cows. Today we may idolize a celebrity, or we even make our job or spouse our idol. “You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain.
” God sent his Son to die for us that we may be saved and to know Him, and any mention of Him otherwise is irreverent. God is the sovereign, God is that He is. That is His name. Today’s society has taken their friendship with God too far. Jesus is not your homeboy. In fact, some can’t even be bothered to take His name in vain completely and must abbreviate to OMG. “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Customarily the Sabbath is on Sunday, as God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th, he tells the Israelites that after 6 days of work they should take a day to rest and honor Him.
Everyone is “plugged in” all the time today and the pace is phenomenal. “Honor your mother and father.” This is more than following the rules our parents make for us, we are supposed to honor, love, and want to obey them. As the world has become more individualistic and entitled, there is a heightened sense of autonomy whereby children think they know best and their independence is celebrated socially. “You shall not murder.” Second only to His command to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and mind, is to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. In the Old Testament we learn of killings for power and position, and today we have shootings in shopping malls over a pair of running shoes.
“You shall not commit adultery.” The covenant of marriage was instituted by Christ, and reflects God’s love for the church. There are entire websites committed to streamlining the process and maximizing confidentiality to enable cheating today. Imagine if that was how God loved us. “You shall not steal.” Common to the Israelites was the theft of people, but we can also steal someone’s real, personal, and intellectual property or their dignity and trust. This commandment encompasses some of the others, as we shouldn’t steal someone’s life, spouse, or justice by giving false testimony. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” Simply put we shouldn’t lie about or to our neighbors. Lying is commonplace today and is usually an attempt to benefit the person telling them.
“You shall not covet.” God tells the Israelites not to covet their neighbor’s house, wife, manservant, maidservant, ox ass or anything that is theirs. While most of us don’t have any oxen roaming about, we do have a strong desire to have the newest phone or car instead of being happy with what God gave us. Although there are differences in some of the details, the fundamental directive from God is every bit as important today as it was when He gave them. It is apparent much of the turmoil in the world today is a direct result of man’s growing distance from God by not living in the way in which he commanded.
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