The Ten Commandments

On the ten commandments

These are the ten words of God.

They are two aspects here, the first is man’s duty to God , the second is man’s duty to man.

The commandments were given to Israel to identify them as the people of God.

In order to get the full impact of them you need to start with Exodus 20:1 “And God spoke all these words, saying:” and include verse 2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”

After this God gives the commands to Israel.

God identifies himself as God of power and grace, therefore as God who should be heeded.

In these first two verses you have a revealing of God’s graciousness to Israel. He had already delivered them from slavery and captivity in Egypt, giving them the gift of freedom, then he gave them the commands. He didn’t give the commands first and tell the Israelis I will deliver you if you obey these ten words. You also have a revealing of God’s power because you have the cue that he delivered them out of a house of bondage. And only someone stronger can deliver one from one’s captor.

After this he tells Israel this is how you will live as my people.

These ten words or commandments then are to become the character of Israel.

31 thoughts on “The Ten Commandments

  1. These commandments also reveal the character of God as He prepared a nation and later a church to “be ye perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect” And these “sentences” as Gary labels them can deliver us from the bondage of sin if in keeping them we follow the living God ,Jesus Christ and NOT as the rich young ruler in the Gospels who kept the commandments (except the one to FOLLOW ME).

  2. Seems like lately I have thought a lot about how we can get out of Egypt.
    Seems like we go around in circles and sometimes we may feel free in Jesus and fight against those who would like to keep us in bondage. Other times I wonder if we have been in bondage so long that we don’t put up enough fight to venture out and participate in the freedom God has given us. In rereading this, it sounds like the Master is the wrong one to serve. Horrible to wake up and find you had served the wrong one all the days of your life.

  3. Reading the blog makes one realize that true freedom has rules and boundaries so that we stay free.

    Some thoughts from galations to add:”Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”NKJ

    “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Gal 5:13 NLT

  4. Gary says, “These ten words or commandments then are to become the character of Israel.” And, mine and the church! Obey and stay free in the freedom that God provided for His people.

  5. Exodus 20:1 “And God spoke all these words, saying:” and include verse 2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”

    What a thought to tuck deep down in my soul!

  6. Jesus summed up the ten commandments and our obligation to follow them in His answer to the Sadducees in Matt 22:35-40: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

  7. Some thoughts on the 10 commandments being posted in public, esp. court houses.
    Basically, all law comes from the Lord God Who spoke and wrote the commandments to & for Moses to give to the people in the Book of Exodus and for mankind from that time forward. They are basic laws of western nations and really, of many nations, societies and communities’ all over the world, whose laws are rooted in the laws of God. Crimes like murder, robbery, perjury,assault,false witness, (and until more recently) adultery, etc. and the punishment and penalties meted out for those crimes are part of our judicial system. So why should the 10 commandments NOT be posted, just like other commands like no trespassing, smoking, spitting, loitering, etc. are posted. The 10 are the true laws.

  8. In one of the textbooks I am reading for an online teaching course, the author expresses his opinion that educating students in ethics and values should ‘be’ is as important as educating them to ‘know’ and ‘do’. He further goes on to add that this is a controversial topic among many educators who feel that curriculums should be free of values.
    As MG pointed out above concerning laws, the ten commandments are life guides of conduct that can impart values to students to live by to make them productive, accountable citizens. Posting them in schools makes sense.

  9. Yes, I believe the ten commandments should be posted on public buildings, courthouses, etc. After all, our Pledge of Allegiance says our nation is “one nation under God”.

  10. No, but I think it wood be good to make sure students are aware of them and incorporate them into ethics as one of the curriculum competencies for Agriculture is ‘Demonstrate Integrity’.

  11. In our school we have a different virtue that we stress, each month. We put a poster up…the virtues that, when practiced, manifest the core values of the 10 commandments. No, we do NOT call them the 10 commandments but they are much like the fruit of the Spirit which is an outcome of obeying the 10 commandments.
    This month it’s “SELF-CONTROL We discuss the meaning of self-control and how to apply that to each one’s life. Responsibility, Kindness, honesty, generosity, etc. one for each month of the school year. At the end of the month each student in each homeroom votes for the classmate in their room that they have observed demonstrating this virtue in his/her life. that month. They write a paragraph about it describing the discerning moment(s) and the teacher totes the votes. The winner appears on in-house television and receives a GOLD STAR presented by the principal or asst. principal, which they (the students) then proudly wear on their shirts/blouses etc in an easily spotted location.
    We call it the GOLD-STAR AWARDS PROGRAM It is excellent training for our youth.

  12. “Be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go”
    (Joshua 1:7, NKJV)

  13. “They demonstrate that God’s law is written on their hearts…”
    (Romans 2:15, NLT)

    Does the ten commandments hang in the chamber of your heart?

  14. Gary stated “He had already delivered thatn from slavery and captivity in Egypt, giving them the gift of freedom. then He gave them the commands. They were taken out of bondage and given freedom but they were not sure how to handle “freedom”. They only thing they understood was how to be a slave.
    Exodus 14:12 “Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said,’Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!”
    The Israelites begged to continue to be slaves. It was all they knew. Many times God will deliever us out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage and we do the same thing that the Israelites did. We run back to our bondage. It turns into a vicious cycle. I am so thankfull God gave us the boundaries we need to help overcome the fear of freedom. God knew that His people need boudaries. Thank you Lord for your Ten Commandments and your Word to help guide us and lead us.

  15. CF, what dilemmas we find ourselves in. Yep, it is Halloween season and sometimes Christians like to say, ‘we don’t believe in Halloween we just believe in fall fest…Ok, from reading this we are Halloween spooks.

  16. In education one way to assess student learning is to have them demonstrate to someone else what they learned and this demonstarton goes beyond just words and talk. So the way to answer Sara’s question above are we demonstrating the ten commandments by our living them out day by day in various situations.
    What chickenfarmer wrote and then Sara wrote about Halloween makes me think maybe we are dressed up for it like a dog or pig based on 2 Peter 2:22 NLT “A dog returns to its vomit.”And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.”

  17. A couple of examples that come to mind:
    Demonstrate being a good steward of classroom resources/waste is stealing.
    Demonstrate proper verbal communication regarding fellow staff and students/gossip kills.
    Demonstrate sharing, giving and being content with what you have /coveting is commandment 10.

  18. Debi writes, “Demonstrate being a good steward of classroom resources/waste is stealing.” The example that came to my mind is how some of us as parents have allowed our children the privilege of picking and choosing what we want to eat, wear, etc. and throwing away food, clothes, etc. Or, stuffing the food in our mouths so we could put on extra pounds because we knew the child was wasting so we helped with getting fat!

    As a parent with grown children I wonder how many people thought, ‘silly mom’ catering to a child without teaching them the value of being served meals, clothes, toys, etc. as a gift from parents and blessings from God.

    Then our children get to high school, Debi’s class age, and we have to pay for a high school teacher to get credits and education to teach this, ie, being a good steward, to our children. Math, science, reading, music and other happy accomplishments have ‘flown the coop’. Dear Lord, please forgive me and help me to gently help others to see before high school. Note: only speaking from my own family experiences….

  19. Those are really good points. From my observation, many students come to high school exhibiting behaviors that seem to say ‘I am entitled’

  20. The following historical documents, are based upon Biblical principles:
    The Magna Carta
    The Mayflower Compact
    The Declaration of Independence
    The Articles of Confederation
    The Constitution of the United States
    Amendments to the U.S. Constitution
    Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior

    What a legacy God’s Commandments and God’s BIBLICAL Principles has left.

  21. One of the commandments that comes to my mind that seems so needful for the Christian and one that is teachable to thyself is “”Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” Exodus 20:8 NLT

    One day a week we need a rest. Resting the body and replenishing the spirit. Renewing the soul through worship and other sabbath observances.

    It seems to be so often that God’s healing comes to us by observing His spiritual teachings that leads to preventive maintenance of the body, soul and spirit.

    Gary wrote, “God identifies himself as God of power and grace, therefore as God who should be heeded.”

    Exodus 16:23 He said to them, “This is what the LORD commanded: ‘Tomorrow is to be a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake and boil what you want to boil. Save whatever is left and keep it until morning.'”

    I am not writing this as a debate over day or time or what but as a reminder to take a rest one day a week….

  22. I fondly remember my grandmother telling me the story of her Saturday nights growing up as the eldest child in a family of nine. They would get out the ‘wash tub’, fill it with hot water and all nine children got scrubbed up for Sunday church. They had also scrubbed their clothes earlier that day and got ready …all in preparation for Sunday. Somehow this story always stuck with me because it represented a lifestyle and attitude of reverence and making special time for the Sabbath.
    Cleansing and renewing the outward man as an expression or welcome for God’s Spirit to ‘renew the soul’ as Sara said.

    “Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.” Ephesians 4:23

  23. Dressing for the Sabbath makes me think of Psalm 45 where is described the “bride” going into the House of the Lord. ” Her garment is dazzling, lined with gold…all her garments are intertwined with golden threads. Those that go in with her are elegantly woven and their clothing is of incredibly beautiful needlework.”
    We don’t all have golden threaded garments, but the Psalm says ” the bride( of Christ) is all glorious within. The golden threads are a symbol of propriety and cleanliness and godliness. indicative of a clean and pure heart…wearing our best for the Lord when we go to His house on the Sabbath.
    I, too remember when we got dressed for Church we wore our best clothes whatever we had that was our best. And as soon as we returned from Church service, if we were gong to be home, we had to change out of our Sunday clothes and put on our “everyday” clothes….because Sunday clothes were speciall and to be kept that way.

  24. I believe that you you, Sara, do personify the “bride” all glorious within going into the house of the Lord with elegantly gold-threaded garments. And that is taught and encouraged in our church lessons

  25. Also I think I Peter 1:3 is a good reminder that its not just how we dress outwardly on Sundays and the attention we give to it, but the full attention we give to what the Lord is teaching us on the Sabbath about our inside.
    “Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.”

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