I don’t know how many of you, before entering into a relationship, wrote out a simple set of promises that were going to be kept by both of you. Well, that sounds more like a marriage vow but either way, that’s essentially what this chapter is going to be covering. Basically there is a wedding going on between God and his people. We should also notice how God begins this chapter. What does He remind them of right before he repeats the Ten Commandments?
Then God gave the people all these instructions[a]:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.
3 “You must not have any other god but me.
4 “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. 5 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. 6 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those[b] who love me and obey my commands.
7 “You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.
8 “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
12 “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “You must not murder.
14 “You must not commit adultery.
15 “You must not steal.
16 “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.
17 “You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.”
18 When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear.
19 And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!”
20 “Don’t be afraid,” Moses answered them, “for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!”
21 As the people stood in the distance, Moses approached the dark cloud where God was.
Proper Use of Altars
22 And the Lord said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: You saw for yourselves that I spoke to you from heaven. 23 Remember, you must not make any idols of silver or gold to rival me.
24 “Build for me an altar made of earth, and offer your sacrifices to me—your burnt offerings and peace offerings, your sheep and goats, and your cattle. Build my altar wherever I cause my name to be remembered, and I will come to you and bless you. 25 If you use stones to build my altar, use only natural, uncut stones. Do not shape the stones with a tool, for that would make the altar unfit for holy use. 26 And do not approach my altar by going up steps. If you do, someone might look up under your clothing and see your nakedness.
It’s interesting to note here that this is not where the commandments are originated. The principles of the commandments were part of God’s law before the fall of man. Adam could not have been guilty of sin otherwise without a law. After the transgression of Adam the principles of the law were not changed, but were definitely arranged and expressed to meet man in his fallen condition. Because of continuous sin, the moral law was repeated at Sinai.
Did you catch how God began the declaration of his promises? ““I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” Everything that comes after that is simply how we should demonstrate our gratitude for what He has done for us already. In fact, Jesus reminds us of this again in the New Testament, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Why keep the commandments though? Although it appears as if the Ten Commandments are a list of negatives, such as “you shouldn’t do this or that,” that is not truly what we find in them. If you look deeper at the law you see “Do this, and you will not come under the dominion and control of Satan.” It’s about “DO this and Live!”
It is our duty to obey the law. God’s law is not new. It is holiness made know in simple language. It is a code of principles expressing mercy, goodness, and love. It presents to us, a fallen the humanity, the character of God, and states plainly the whole responsibility of Man. Love God and your neighbor as yourself, is the law broken down into two parts.
So why should we keep ALL the Commandments? Simple, I love Jesus because He first loved me.
After all that Jesus has already done for you, do you want to accept his invitation to have a personal relationship with Him?
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.