Summary: Ten Commandments
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (EXODUS 20:1-17)
Marvin and Tina were not a very religious couple but tried their best; they only went to church once a year. As they were leaving the church, the priest said, “Marvin, it sure would be nice to see you and Tina at Mass more than once a year”
“I know,” replied Marvin, “We’re very busy people, leading active lives but at least we keep the Ten Commandments”
“That’s great,” the priest said. “I’m glad to hear that you keep the Commandments.”
“Yes, we sure do” Marvin said proudly, “Tina keeps six of them and I keep the other four”.
The Protestant version of the Ten Commandments are similar to the Jewish version, whereas the Catholic version combines the first two commandments and separate the last one into two – covet another person’s wife and covet goods. The Ten Commandments are universal, unchanging but unpopular, as Ted Turner once remarked, “Nobody likes to be commanded. Commandments are out!” It is, however, meant for all humanity, all cultures and all ages because it is basic, beneficial and befitting to a society.
What kind of a society do you prefer to live in? Do you want to be governed? How would you like to be treated? Why is God’s rule better and not worse for relationships?
Deepen Reverence for God
1 And God spoke all these words: 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. 7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. 8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
During the tenure of the great orator Henry Ward Beecher, a visiting
minister once substituted for the popular pastor. A large audience had already assembled to hear Beecher, and when the substitute pastor stepped into the pulpit, several disappointed listeners began to move toward the exits. That's when the minister stood and said loudly, “All who have come here today to worship Henry Ward Beecher may now withdraw from the church. All who have come to worship God keep your seats!”
“Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.” Harold Coffin
The joke goes like this: A group of computer geniuses get together to build the world's largest, most powerful thinking machine. They program it with the latest heuristic software so it can learn, then feed into it the total sum of mankind's knowledge from every source-historical, scientific, technical, literary, mythical, religious, occult. Then, at the great unveiling, the group leader feeds the computer its first question:
“Is there a god?”
“There is now,” the computer replies.
The title and relationship “the Lord your God” (first commandment) was officially announced after God saved the Israelites from the Egyptians who drowned in the sea, and this is only the second time it’s been mentioned in the book of Exodus, and as much as five times in the chapter. (vv 2, 5, 7, 10, 12) Before God gave Israel his commandments, His utmost concern was His relationship to them - who He was rather than what they did.
You shall have no other gods (v 3, second commandment) because He is the Lord of salvation. He is thy God and He is a jealous God (v 5), jealous being passionate, personal and possessive of His people whom He saved. He does not tolerate competition, comparisons and compromises.
Other gods (v 3) are no more than an image (v 4) – a grave image (KJV), a carved image (ESV) or an idol (NASB) – be it of wood, stone or plastic. An image (v 4) occurs for the first time in the Bible. An image can be an object, a thing or a statute. An idol is impersonal, immobile and idle. An idol is given more power, personality and priority because of its control, command and clout over unbelievers’ lives. An idol bcan be an animal, a person or any possession you hold most dear, most precious and most beloved in your life that it becomes a false god.