Summary: This is the final of five sermons on the Ten Commandments and teaches that God told us to honor everyone who comes into our lives
HONOR AND FREEDOM
Well I’ve got to tell you, this has been an interesting adventure through the Ten Commandments for me. I’ve learned a lot along the way. In all honesty, when I began this study I don’t think I could have told you what every single one of the Ten Commandments are. I can do that now. I might miss the order of the last few though.
It’s my hope that you’ve learned a few things along the way too. Mostly I hope that you’ve learned that the Ten Commandments are not a way to get to God. You see, we’ve got this idea in our society that you can work your way into God’s good graces. But God shows with the creation of the Ten Commandments that it’s not about what you do. It’s about having a relationship with him. The Israelites had a relationship with God based on the trust that they gave God by painting blood around their doorframes, with the trust that God was going to rescue them from the Egyptians.
This same idea comes back about 1400 years later. Jesus comes and he tells people that it isn’t about the sacrifice of sheep, goats, birds, and bulls. He’s about to pay the ultimate sacrifice. He’s going to give up his life as a sacrifice to stand once and for all. And for you and I it’s still about trust. It’s about placing our trust in a God we can’t see and believing that his son, Jesus, died on a cross to save us. And no amount of rule keeping can replace the gift of his precious life.
So today as we prepare to look at the last six commandments, I’m overwhelmed by what all I’ve learned along the way. Truthfully, I just hope that I can convey this in a way that brings home that point. God’s laws aren’t a way to heaven. Instead God laws are to keep us free.
For the last few weeks we’ve been talking just about the first four commandments. During each one of these, God has made a point to bring the focus on himself. He wants us to remember that it is he that should be in the center of everything. He does this first off by telling us that he is the one and only God. There aren’t any others. He’s it and because he is the only God he wants you to go to him for everything, good or bad. Then he tells us not to make any idols of him because when we do, we try to make him manageable. God is not manageable. He doesn’t fit inside whatever little box we try to place him in. Thirdly God reminds us not to misuse his name. And here we discovered that some of what we were taught growing up isn’t exactly what God meant with this commandment. Instead we learned that God doesn’t want his name attached to anything God is not involved in. Finally, last week, we learned that we’re to take a day off. That’s it, take a day off.. That day is to be focused on God for his providing for you and for me.
Now God shifts gears here and starts going in a different direction. He’s spent the time explaining that all of our lives is supposed to revolve around him. Now he says something that no other society in the world was saying and that many societies today still aren’t saying.
Every one you come into contact with is important to God. Treat them right.
That’s the synopsis of the last six commandments. Everyone you come into contact with is important to God. Treat them right.
You see he’s already made it clear that he’s supposed to be the center of everything that you and I do. Now he tells us that everyone around is just as important to him as everyone else. In fact the Ten Commandments do something that no other set of laws from that time period do. They put everyone equal according to God.
You see there’s something you won’t find in the Ten Commandments. You won’t find anywhere in there that you need to honor your king. It’s not there. You won’t find honor your leaders. That’s not there either. Nor will you find honor the priests. Nope. Not in there. You won’t even find the words, “Honor Moses.”
This is one of the reasons that I believe the Ten Commandments are real and that they’re written by God. If Moses had written the commandments on his own you can guarantee the words “Obey Moses” would have appeared in there somewhere. When you study the rest of the story about the Israelites they don’t obey him. In fact, a lot of times they miss what he has to tell them entirely. Somehow I can just imagine Moses in this situation telling God, “If you had just added one more commandment we would have could have settled this.” But it’s not in there.