Summary: The Ten Commandments are a blue print for us to live a life of freedom.
Have you ever heard of preachers referred to as Bible thumpers? I have. I guess some preachers would take offense to that, but you know, it's better to hear a good, solid thump from the Word of God than it is to hear the hollow echo of an empty mind.
If you look up the word thump, you might find it defined as: "A blow with a heavy, blunt instrument." Another definition I discovered was: "The dull sound made by that blow." I know that sometimes Bible-thumpers tend to sound dull, but let me give you a hint. If you know the Author, this is a much more exciting book.
I'd like to give you a thump today to two great truths in God's Word that blend into one. They all revolve around the Ten Commandments. In Deuteronomy 5, it is years after the Ten Commandments. Moses is underscoring the fact that in the mind of God it's okay for a minister to repeat a sermon. So he's repeating the sermon about the Ten Commandments and reminding these people what it was like.
He says, "You remember when you heard the voice of God? He thundered, and you were excited. You came to me and said," "Go near and hear all that the Lord our God says; then speak to us all that the Lord our God will speak to you, and we will hear and do it" (Deut. 5:27).
The other section of Scripture is the Ten Commandments themselves. In Exodus 20:1-2, the introduction to the commandments goes like this: "Then God spoke all these words, saying, 'I am the Lord you God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery."
We Need To Experience God Ourselves
First, I'd like us to see that God may be saying those people and people like us spend too much time waiting for Moses. It may be a bad thing in our lives when we expect someone else to bring us all we need to know about God and give us a secondhand experience with Him.
In Deuteronomy, he's reminding them how they acted on that day. We read the first part of that episode, beginning in Exodus 19. Our Lord told them to get ready to meet Him. I often wonder why sometimes we just stumble into the presence of God without thought.
But God told them that day, "Get ready to have an encounter with Me. I want you to clean your clothes, your bodies, and your souls. For three days, you will make the total commitment of your life to Me. Then I will come to you."
Then in verse 16, READ 16-19
Then we read in Deuteronomy 5 beginning in verse 23, as he's reminding them what happened on that day years later: READ 23-26
Well they had survived, and, of course, Moses had survived. However, they said to Moses, "Go near and hear all that the Lord our God says; then speak to us all that the Lord our God will speak to you, and we will hear and do it. (5:27) Moses said, "And the Lord heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me, and the Lord said to me, 'I have heard the voice of the words of this people which they have spoken to you. They have done well in all that they have spoken.'" (5:28).
It sounds like He's affirming this, but we find, as we read later verses, He's actually just giving into the fact they were not ready to stand in His presence.
They were not ready to be the kind of people to have a firsthand experience with God. We read that in the very next verse: "Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear (reverence) Me, and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever!" (5:29).
Then in verse 30, He very sadly said to Moses, "Tell them to go back to their tents, but you stay here. I'll tell you all the things I intended to tell everybody, and you go and tell them."
In school one of the girls goes to one of the boys and says, "If you will say you like Mary, I think she'll say she likes you." And the boy says, "Go tell Mary if she says she likes me, I may say I like her." That poor girl is kept running back and forth between Mary and Jimmy. Mary and Jimmy never even shake hands, but in a short period of time they are already sick of each other. However, Jimmy begins to like the girl who brought the message. That's like the fellow who wrote letters every day to his sweetheart, and she married the mailman.