January 24

Read Exodus 20 -- 22

In Today's Reading:

Ten Commandments and other laws and regulations given.

The Ten Commandments are very sacred because they were written by the finger of God (Exodus 31:18). It is no surprise that pagans hate to see them displayed. They are an expression of the spiritual and moral conduct of the people of God. Eight are expressed negatively: You shall not. Six present requirements for our relationship with others. Four reveal the perfection of the holy, one true God, who alone is to be worshiped.

Then God spoke all these words: I am the LORD your God . . . . You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens . . . or on the earth . . . for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God . . . showing faithful love to . . those who love Me and keep My commandments. You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, because the LORD will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses His name. Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. . . . Honor your father and your mother. . . . You shall not murder . . . commit adultery . . steal . . . give false testimony against your neighbor . . . or covet (20:1-17). We are warned that it is wrong to steal — wrong whether it is done by shoplifting, cheating on income tax, or failing to give an employer a full day's work. It is wrong to bear false witness against a neighbor, and it is wrong to commit adultery. The . . . unbelievers, vile, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars — their share will be in the lake that burns with fire (Revelation 21:8). We are also warned against practices of witchcraft, sorcery, bestiality, and sacrificing to any gods, except the LORD alone (Exodus 22:18-20). All who were guilty of these sins were to be put to death immediately. Obedience should come from the heart. If I have love toward my neighbor, I will not steal his property, or commit adultery with his wife, or commit fornication with his daughter. I will protect and respect his loved ones because they are the property of God.

The law is a mirror that reveals what we should be with absolute accuracy The apostle Paul said: I would not have known sin if it were not for the law. For example, I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, You shall not covet (Romans 7:7).

Christ Revealed:

The perfection of Christ is revealed through the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17). He was perfect and without sin (Heb. 4:15). He also gave us a new commandment— That you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you should also love one another (John 13:34).

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Bart Gordon (TN) and Rep. Mike Thompson (CA) · Country: Mexico (100 million) in North America · Major language: Spanish · Religious freedom · 88% Roman Catholic; 4% Protestant; .1% Eastern Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him (Psalms 37:7).

Optional Reading: Matthew 24

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:5