Wednesday, April 15

10 Commands: Life Priorities

The 10 Commandments have been a source of pain for American culture in recent days. In our scientific, overly educated culture we have somehow found God to a liability. We allow someone to have religious views as long as they keep them to themselves. We are not allowed to talk about religion and politics. We tolerate everything except intolerance. Claiming to be wise we have became fools.

This was made clear in a case over the 10 Commandments being displayed in Alabama. If I remember the details, a judge had the Commandments on display in the courthouse rotunda. Someone got upset. The ACLU got involved. A battle ensued. The Commandments are gone.

So, what is wrong with these commands? Why are people afraid to display them in America? There are many things here that we need to hear today! Consider just some of them:
*Keeping God first
*Honoring parents – which is the bedrock of all respect for authority
*Purity in marriage
*Not stealing
*Valuing others highly

I think we would be helped to return to these values in America today!

Read: Deuteronomy 5:6-21
6 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
7 "You shall have no other gods before [a] me.
8 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 9 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 fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
11 "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
12 "Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 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 manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
16 "Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
17 "You shall not murder.
18 "You shall not commit adultery.
19 "You shall not steal.
20 "You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
21 "You shall not covet your neighbor's wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor's house or land, his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."
New International Version

Have you ever considered the structure of the 10 Commandments? Have you ever thought through why we refer to “two tablets” of the law?

Some of the commands deal with our relationship with God and some deal with our relationships with each other. The first 4 deal with God and the last 6 deal with others.

When Jesus was on earth he summarized the 10 commandments into 2: Love God and love others. It will do us well to remember that as we work through the 10 commands. There really are only 2 of them.

Look back at the 10 commands above. What do you notice structurally? Which one is the longest? Shortest? Why do you think that is the case? What does that tell you about God or about that particular command?

Have you broken any of the 10 Commands in your lifetime? Have you ever failed to love God or others? Has this driven you to God in repentance?

Take your temperature today: How is your love for God? What is your temperature? Do you have a fever for him? Ask God to increase your love for him today. Seek to honor him with your life.

How is your love for others? Is there anyone at home, work, the neighborhood or at church that you have trouble loving? Can you name them? Ask God for help in this.

DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.