Most could name one. Thou shalt not kill.
A great number of those smiling people were slightly embarrassed at not being able to recollect any more than this. To be fair, some mentioned lying was wrong as well, but there were a few people who didn’t know what the ten commandments even were.
Then a question was asked that made every one of these people breathe a sigh of deep relief. After they failed miserably on the previous question you could quickly see visibly worry lines disappear, and the tension eased quietly from their shoulders. The question was asked of them if they could now name 10 different brands of beer. Every last one of the dozens who were interviewed could name far more than 10!
How many do you know? No…no, of the commandments. Not beer. Commandments…Here they are for our reading pleasure..well ok at least for your perusal.
1. I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before me.
2. Do not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything else..or bow down to another
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain
4. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.
5. Honor your father and your mother
6. You shall not murder
7. You shall not commit adultery
8. You shall not steal
9. You shall not bear false witness, or (lie) against your neighbor
10. You shall not covet
Yahweh God gave these commandments to Moses on a hot and stormy mountain years ago. God himself used His own finger to carve out these words on stone tablets which were later broken in anger. I’m telling you its a must read! These stones must have been pretty important…or what was written on them was.
Let’s walk through these just or fun, shall we?
-You shall have no others gods before me. What do you worship? Celebrities? Money? Status at work? A relationship? How do I know you ask? What takes priority in your mind? What or whom are you focusing on? If its not the Lord than this one’s out.
Number two talks about making another god for yourself. You don’t have to own a potters wheel and googly eyes to break this one, or attend the Statues-that Disrespect-God convention. What most people do is create a Jesus type, or someone in their minds that never judges, never tells them no, allows for gray areas, and positively does not offend. Their diety has many different roads to get to where they want to be after they die.
Number 3. Do you find yourself using God’s holy name as a cuss word? Or do you use it irreverently in exclamation?
Number 4. Out of all the days of your life, have you ever ever taken one whole day to worship and reflect on the one true God, let alone one whole day every week?
Commandment number 5 is honor your mother and your father. Have you always and every time respected their opinions, their comments, and taken their counsel on the path you’ve chosen? At least have you taken everything either one of them have said into simple consideration? Yeah, I’m guilty on that one too.
Number 6 seems pretty self explanatory, and perhaps the only one you can cheer about never having broken, right? “I’ve NEVER killed someone!”, you say. Not so fast. The Bible says that if you’ve hated someone in your heart you’ve already committed this sin.
Ahh number 7..committing adultery. This sin not only involves cheating on your spouse, but some scholars say it encompasses premarital sexual conduct as well. Whether you subscribe to that theory or not, Jesus said that if you even ‘look’ at someone with lust you’ve committed this sin in your heart. Who’s not guilty of that?
C’mon number 8! Stealing. A pen off the receptionists desk? Not giving back incorrect change..it doesn’t matter how small it’s still theft, and the crime makes you a thief.
False witness is lying. Ever lied? Yeah. Enough said.
Number 10 is coveting. Wanting something or someone that is not yours, but someone else’s. Ever want a husband or wife that wasn’t yours? Ever want their car, kids, boat, retirement plan or vacation packages? Yeah me too.
Then comes the clincher. The Bible says that if we transgress in even one part than we’re guilty of it all. Wow. Really?
So what am I saying..that I serve a perfectionist God? Am I telling you that God requires total holiness with zero exceptions? That He requires a lot of you & I, and He completely deserves it? Yes I am.
He knew those commandments would be broken, but that didn’t make us any less accountable. He knew that we would need to be saved from ourselves. As a matter of fact, as He was writing them amidst lightning and thunder, He knew the people down the hill were already throwing a rager, getting wasted, fashioning a pagan gold cow, and dancing around their useless blind idol at the exact same moment!
He knew we needed His ultimate rescue plan. But we had to see our need for it first.
He knew we wouldn’t be able to keep from sin, and so He made a way for us to be forgiven. He had a rescue plan from the start. First, in the Old Testament with an unblemished animal blood sacrifice, and then through the death of Jesus Christ, God’s own son. Jesus became the once and for all blood sacrifice for any who would believe in Him as Lord and Rescuer.
He became ‘the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world.’
Do you see your need for rescue?
Let me put it this way. If you were to stand before the judge would you be guilty or innocent? As the 10 commandments boldly reflect, we would all stand guilty. “But”, you exclaim, “I will be pronounced innocent because I’ll tell the judge I’m sorry, and he is full of love and mercy, so my sins won’t matter.” Or, you declare, “well the God I serve would never send anyone to hell..if there even is a hell…there probably isn’t!”
A good judge, a righteous judge, would not release someone because they stand up in the courtroom and read off or state their apologies. We see that all the time on broadcasted court cases. The verdict still stands. Time will still be served. A death sentence will still hold, and the gavel will still hit the block.
And the God you serve, the non-judging, do-what-you-want deity that allows for sin, well he’s not real, and like the useless, unfeeling gold cow he sees nothing. In seeing and hearing nothing he never shows up in that courtroom to save you. The Good Judge, the righteous one, Jesus, will be there to measure out your sentence.
Do you see your need for a Rescuer?
Jesus’ blood was poured out on that cross more than 2000 years ago as a rescue plan. To save us. To save you and me. There is no plan B.
The law, the Ten Commandments, are to reflect our need for that rescue plan.
If you need Him all you have to do is believe He is who He says, and ask Him to forgive you. Ask Him for strength to live His way, and direction in how to serve Him. He’ll do the rest.
Praying for you.
Daughter of the King