Archive for October 30th, 2014

The Ten Commandments

October 30, 2014

The Ten Commandments were given to the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai.  To this day they provide, not just a code of conduct for a religious group, but a foundation for ethical behavior that has stood for thousands of years.  Today, however, it is being removed not just from our public buildings but from many of our lives.  Today I hope to reinforce the foundation of our code of conduct, The Ten Commandments.

I.  Our Relationship to God:  Deuteronomy 5:6-15

‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

‘You shall have no other gods before Me.

‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 10 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

11 ‘You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

12 ‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your ox, nor your donkey, nor any of your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. 15 And remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.

The first commandment seems simple enough.  Today, at least in western culture, the God of Abraham is clearly the primary deity that is addressed.  There is more to it however.  Is God our top priority, or is He merely a part of our lives, and a small part at that?  God is meant to be the most important part of our lives.  If anything else is more important to us, then we have set that thing up as a god in our lives.

God is not something of this world.  There can be no image of God because God is a Spirit, not a thing.  Making an image of God would change our idea of the nature of God.  God is eternal.  Material things all have a beginning.  God is an eternal Spirit, not some material, created thing.

Profanity used to be reserved for men in certain trades.  Today profanity is used by men, women and children in all walks of life.  The name of Jesus Christ is used as an exclamation of anger, not just as an expression of praise.  People curse all sorts of things using the name of God.  Even the common expression of surprise or dismay may be represented by the acronym OMG!  Clearly our society has not taken the third commandment very seriously.

We can add a second dimension to this commandment today.  As Christians we have taken upon ourselves the name of Christ.  Are we making a mockery of that holy name by our unholy lives?

The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath.  We are so busy today.  Many have discarded the practice of a day of rest.  It was meant to be a blessing to us, not a burden, and yet many have rejected that gift.  Our lives are diminished by not observing a day devoted to rest and worship.

II.  Our Relationship to Parents:  Deuteronomy 5:16

 ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

Our attitude towards authority begins at home.  If we learn to respect and obey our parents it will impact the rest of our lives.  We will respect and obey our teachers.  We will respect and obey our employers.  We will respect and obey the legal authorities.  We will respect and obey God.   We first learn at home that obeying the rules brings reward, being disobedient results in punishment.  That is a lesson that is good all life long.

Parents take care of their children when they are young.  When the parents become old, the children take care of them.  The church and the government only have to help those who do not have family.  This was a basic rule of society for generations.

III.  Our Relationship Towards Others:  Deuteronomy 5:17-21

 ‘You shall not murder.

18 ‘You shall not commit adultery.

19 ‘You shall not steal.

20 ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

21 ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field, his male servant, his female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.’

Our society has distorted the sixth commandment.  They seem to think that to murder and to kill are synonymous.  Killing a human being in self defense, or combat, or executing a criminal are not covered by this commandment.  Of course, Jesus expanded this commandment and told us that we were not to hate our neighbor.  We are to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Sexual sin is rampant in our society.  God created us as sexual beings, but the only appropriate place for sex is within the bonds of marriage.  The only form of biblical marriage is a man and a woman.

Do not steal is not supposed to cover only things over a certain value.  Taking small items that do not belong to us is still stealing.  Taking things from work is stealing.  Even cheating on our tax returns is stealing.  Not fulfilling a contract is stealing.  Not giving an honest days work for an honest days pay is stealing.

Do not lie.  I once told my class at the college that I do not lie and they laughed at me.  They assumed that statement itself was a lie.  Lying has become a rampant disease in our society to the point that you really don’t know who you can trust to speak the truth.  That is a sad commentary on the state of our country.  How much better would our world be if we could trust people to simply speak the truth?

Do not be jealous of your neighbor, or envious of the things that they have in their life.  Learn to be happy with what you have in your own life.  Covetousness makes us believe that we need some thing to be happy.  All we truly  need to be happy is to be in a right relationship with God.

Deuteronomy 5:29

Oh, that they had such a heart in them that they would fear Me and always keep all My commandments, that it might be well with them and with their children forever!

These are the sermon notes from 10/19/14.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any  money from them.