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 with the finger of God (Exodus 31:18). It is no surprise that the unsaved pagans hate to see them displayed. They are an expression of the spiritual and moral conduct that God requires of each person. 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.

God spoke all these words, saying, I am the LORD your God. . . . You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make to you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing . . . in heaven above, or . . . the earth . . for I the LORD your God am a jealous God . . . showing mercy to . . them that love Me, and keep My commandments. You shall not take the Name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes His Name in vain. Remember the Sabbath (rest) day, to keep it holy. . . . Honor your father and your mother . . . . You shall not kill. . . . commit adultery. . . . steal. . . . bear false witness against your neighbor. . . . 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 an honest day's work. It is wrong to bear false witness against a neighbor, and it is wrong to commit adultery. The . . . unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:8). We are also warned against practices of witchcraft, sorcery, bestiality, and sacrificing to any god, save to the LORD only (Exodus 22:18-20). All who were guilty of these sins were to be put to death immediately. However, obedience should come from the heart. If I have love toward my neighbor, I will not steal his property, 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. The Apostle Paul said: I had not known sin, but by the Law: for I had not known lust (evil desire), except the Law had said, You shall not covet (Romans 7:7).

Word Studies:

20:13 kill = murder; 21:14 presumptuously upon = willfully attacks; 21:16 stealeth = kidnaps; 21:19 be quit = go unpunished; 21:22 fruit depart = miscarry; 21:29 were wont = has tried before; 22:2 breaking up = breaking in.

Christ Revealed:

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

Pray For:

Government Officials: Rep. Bart Gordon (TN) and Rep. Mike Thompson (CA) · Country: Malawi (10 million) in southeastern Africa · Major languages: English and Chichewa · Religious freedom · 34% Protestant; 23% Roman Catholic; 16% Muslim; 16% animist; 4% cults · Prayer Suggestion: Call upon the Lord and He will save you (Psalm 55:16).

Optional Reading: Matthew 24

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:5