The Ten Commandments define the life God wants us to have with him and with each other. Every aspect of our lives is to show that we belong to God. The Ten Commandments are minimum standards for a just society and are the framework for how we are to live our lives. We are to reflect God’s righteousness and justice by obeying God’s Commandments. They are the building blocks for a functioning society. These rules will never be out of date. These rules will never change. These rules will never budge because they are eternally the same.
The phrase “I am the Lord Your God” is mentioned twelve times in Exodus 20:1-21. It emphasizes his authority and his relationship with his people. They show the love he has for us. God knows that it will be almost impossible for us to perfectly obey these commandments, so he can heal the broken relationship when we break one of the Ten Commandments.
These rules deal with our relationship with God. For example, God is a jealous God. That is why he does not want his people to worship other gods. He loves us so much that he wants the very best for us, and the very best for us is worshipping the one true God. God loves us so much that he wants us to keep his name sacred. That’s why we are told not to take his name in vain. God loves us so much that he wants us to set aside one day a week to worship him. That is why he tells us to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.
These rules also deal with our relationships with other people. Honouring our parents means loving them as much as God loves us. God wants us to love one another as much as he loves us. If we do, we will not kill, commit adultery, steal, covet our neighbour’s goods or lie. Our love for God will bring us to our knees because of our need to be loved. If we obey God, it shows our love for him and it is good for us as well.
These rules also deal with our ethics of life. God sees that the issues addressed by the Ten Commandments are wrong because they go against moral laws. God wants us to respect the hazards of sin. Appropriate fear of God makes us reverent, obedient and worshipful so that we will not sin. We will obey the Commandments because our commitment to God gives us an overwhelming desire to obey him. In fact, we are required to obey God when we hear his voice. The Ten Commandments force us to take responsibility for our actions. They are to be part of our response to what Jesus did for us on the cross.
God is a mystery. He has hidden many things from us. These hidden things combined with our sinful human nature to create a gap between us and him. Throughout the Old Testament several of God’s prophets such as Moses tried to close this gap. The only person who has successfully bridged this gap is Jesus. Jesus is the mediator between us and God. God tries to restore our relationship with him through the Ten Commandments and the two Great Commandments. We can’t ignore this relationship. If it is to be an exclusive relationship, God must be our number one priority. The Ten Commandments are the required response of a grateful people.
We are grateful, but we are not perfect. That’s okay, because God sees us through the eyes of love-the same love that caused him to send his son Jesus to pay the price for our sins. God hopes that we will look at others through the same eyes of love. We are not perfect, but God has prepared a place for us with his saints.
- Jeremiah, David: The Jeremiah Study Bible (Brentwood, TN: Worthy Publishing; 2013)
- ESV Study Bible. Part of Wordsearch 10 Bible Software package.
- Dunnam, M.D. & Ogilvie, L.J.: The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Vol. 2: Exodus (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 1987)
- MacArthur, J.F. Jr.: The MacArthur Study Bible, NASV (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.: 2006)
- Radmacher, E.D.; Allen, R.B. & House, H.W.: Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Commentary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 2009)
- Robert L. Allen, “Rules for Living.” Retrieved from www.esermons.com
- King Duncan, “Responsible Living.” Retrieved from www.esermons.com
- King Duncan, “Etched in Stone.” Retrieved from www.esermons.com