Read Exodus 20
The Law! What we are and what we should be. I the LORD . . . shewing mercy unto . . . them that love Me, and keep My Commandments (20:5-6).
And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage (Ex. 20:1-2).
The Ten Commandments were written with the finger of God on tablets of stone and given to mankind (31:18). Eight of the Ten Commandments are expressed negatively: Thou shalt not. Four of the commandments point to the absolute perfection of the Holy, One True Creator-God, who alone is to be worshiped and obeyed. Six of the commandments present standards for our relationship with others.
The Law reflects man's sinful nature and therefore his ability to have a direct relationship with the Holy God. Yet it reminds us that none of these relationships with God or man can be ignored. In an exclusive, covenant relationship, the Lord God must always have priority in our hearts and be our first consideration, without compromise. Consequently, His Commandments begin: God spake all these words, saying, Have no other gods before Me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or likeness of any thing that is in Heaven . . . or . . . earth . . . I the LORD . . . am a jealous God . . . shewing mercy unto . . . them that love Me, and keep My Commandments. Thou shalt not take the Name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His Name in vain. Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy. . . . Honour thy father and thy mother. . . .Thou shalt not kill. . . . commit adultery. . . . steal. . . . bear false witness. . . . covet . . . any thing (20:1-17). Obedience to the Law was to be Israel's outward sign of having accepted God's Covenant and their willingness to live as a holy nation (19:6).
The Law calls for a sincere obedience from the heart. If I have love toward my neighbor, I will not steal his property or commit adultery with his wife. I will protect his loved ones because they are the property of God. True Christians seek to know more of God.
What peace it is to know that when we do fall short of keeping His Word: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9).
Thought for Today:
A nation may remove the Ten Commandments from its buildings, but that doesn't make them any less Divine Law for mankind now.
The perfection of Christ is revealed through the Ten Commandments, for He kept all of them (Ex. 20:1-17). He was perfect and without sin (Heb. 4:15). He also gave us a new Commandment . . . That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another (John 13:34).
20:13 kill, murder; 21:14 come presumptuously upon, willfully attacks; 21:16 stealeth, kidnaps; 21:19 be quit, go unpunished; 21:22 her fruit depart from her, she miscarries; 21:29 were wont, has tried before; 22:2 breaking up, breaking in.
Pray for Staff: Pam Murton • Government Officials: Rep. Mike C. Thompson (CA), Rep. John Garamendi (CA), and Secy. Shaun L.S. Donovan (Dept. of HUD) • Country: North Korea (22.2 million) in northeastern Asia • Major language: Korean • Violent oppression against all religions • 68% atheist; 15% Ch'ondogyo; 14% Other Traditional; 2% Buddhist; 1% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Have faith in the Word of God (John 4:49-53).
Optional Reading: Matthew 24
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 100:4