Then God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name. Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it. Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and stood at a distance, and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.”
Food For Thought:
The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue, are a set of Biblical principles relating to ethics and worship. The Ten Commandments appear twice in the Hebrew Bible, in the books of Exodus and Deuteronomy. According to the Biblical narrative in Exodus, God inscribed them on two stone tablets which he gave to Moses on Mount Sinai. The Ten Commandments are some of the most recognizable set of rules/laws from the Bible. But few people allow the Ten Commandments to guide their lives. Some of them are rules that applied to the time in which the Bible was written and others are rules that still apply today. When I think of the Ten Commandments, I think of healthy boundaries. The Ten Commandments were established so that the Israelites would have laws to regulate their religious and personal lives. These laws were established to put a fence around what was acceptable and what was not. Today, we still have laws in place to guide how we treat one another. Some of these laws are religious laws and some of them are communal laws. What do you think is the most important law in the Bible? My favorite is found in the Gospel of Luke when Jesus is telling the people that the most important law is the Shema which is, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). This is the reason behind why the law was established in the first place. God wanted the people to be good to one another and obeying these 10 laws insured that they were.
God, our beloved, you set before us the goal of new life in Christ. May we live in the power of his resurrection and bring forth the fruit of your gentle and loving rule. In your holy and precious name we pray, Amen.