Summary: THE TEN COMMANDMENTS – Only One God
• Exodus 20:3-17 (NIV)
 You shall have no other gods before me.
 You shall not make for yourself an idol. . .
 You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God. . .
 Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. . .
 Honor your father and your mother. . .
 You shall not murder.
 You shall not commit adultery.
 You shall not steal.
 You shall not give false testimony . . .
 You shall not covet.
President John Adams stated, “The law given from Sinai was a civil and municipal code as well as a moral and religious code. These laws are essential to the existence of men in society and most of which have been enacted by every Nation which ever professed any code of laws. Vain indeed would be the search among the writings of secular history to find so broad, so complete and so solid a basis of morality as the Ten Commandments lay down.”
The Ten Commandments are the foundation of our legal system. So much so that James Madison said, “We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon . . . the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” While the commandments have been debated, you can still find them engraved on the walls of the US Supreme Court.
Over the next 10 weeks we are going to take a closer look at the Ten Commandments. It is my prayer that we will all learn how to live our lives in simple obedience to God’s commands and be a holy and righteous people. My attempt to help bring clarity and understanding to the commandments may be out done by “The Hillbilly’s Ten Commandments.” These are the simple down home interpretation of the Ten Commandments as posted on the wall at Cross Trails Church in Louisville, KY.
(1) Just one God
(2) Put nothin’ before God
(3) Watch yer mouth
(4) Git yourself to Sunday meetin’
(5) Honor yer Ma & Pa
(6) No killin’
(7) No foolin’ around with another fellow’s gal
(8) Don’t take what ain’t yers
(9) No tellin’ tales or gossipin’
(10) Don’t be hankerin’ for yer buddy’s stuff
Now I suppose it doesn’t get much simpler than that! If we can all learn to live like that then the world would be a better place.
God has given commands that are the basis for our lives. With ten simple rules for us to follow, there is no need for an 11th commandment. God has covered all the bases. The Ten Commandments summarize God’s moral law. The first four commandments instruct us how to maintain a right relationship with God; the last six commandments focus on our relationships with other people. With only 302 words from start to finish (in the NIV) God has stated all that needs to be said about how to live a life that pleases Him. (That’s a pretty good economy of words when you think about some of the laws coming out of Washington DC. For instance a recent federal directive to regulate the price of cabbage contains 26,911 words!)
I. God has made His commandments known.
Illustration: If I were to ask you how the Ten Commandments were given to the children of Israel, perhaps you would make the same mistake that I have made. How many of us picture Charlton Hesston, I mean Moses, on Mt. Sinai receiving the Ten commandments on tablets of stone engraved by the finger of God? With that image who can blame the children of Israel for sinning while Moses was on the mountain by making the golden calf and worshiping it. They didn’t know any better right? Wrong!
1. God spoke the commandments.
• Exodus 20:1, 18-19 (NIV)
 And God spoke all these words. . .  When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance  and said to Moses, "Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die."
a) God didn’t spring the commandments on the people after they had sinned by making the golden calf. God gave them the commandments personally, but the people didn’t want to listen to the voice of God. It was only after Moses was on the mountain for 40 days that they decided to make the golden calf and worship it, but they did so knowing what God had already told them.
b) People are always looking for an excuse. What better excuse than, “I didn’t know.” Only that excuse doesn’t work.