Sometimes, it is good to refresh our memory by examining what we think we already know–because, a lot of times we don’t know what we may ‘think’ we know.
And so it is with the Ten Commandments.
Even those who want nothing to do with Christianity usually have a familiarity with aspects of the Commandments. But how much do we really think about them? Meditate on them? Utilize them in our daily lives?
Yes, Jesus came so that we are forgiven but it is always wise to begin a book at the beginning rather than the middle…so I am going to ‘rethink’ my attitude toward the Commandments this week. So, first a bit of backstory….
Exodus 19:3-6-And Moses went up unto God, and the Lord called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
If you will obey—God puts on a condition here in the Old Testament, setting us up for the eventual gift of GRACE that we find when Jesus comes to remove the ‘if’ out of the vocabulary. That is not to say that we are not still supposed to keep God’s commandments–but I think God was smart enough to know that humanity would break laws even when they did their best to adhere to them.
I think a lot about ‘conditioning’ when I look at my dog. As the owner, I am responsible for her care. I feed her, walk her, play with her, get her groomed, etc. In turn, she gives me unconditional love..even when I may speak harshly to her. I have TRAINED her to know that she must signal me when she wants to go outside to heed nature’s call. But no matter how much she wants to obey me, somtimes she may vomit inside or have an accident. Then I may speak in anger or say, NO.
God knew a people without law would descend into a type of anarchy, chaos, and despotism. In order to give His people a freedom to become a people of God and a holy destiny, he offers them a covenant (a deed of law) setting down terms that both parties can agree upon and follow.
Exodus 20:1 &3-And God spake all these words saying, I AM THE LORD THY GOD, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER gods BEFORE ME.
So there it is: PUT ME FIRST.
Not your money, your nation, your wife, your children, your ‘passion’, your job, your comfort, your internet, your tv, etc.
I come first.
Not the ‘I’ of yourself, either. I, God come first. This is part of our covenant. He reminds Moses and the people that HE got them out of slavery. They are to hear HIS voice. Part of this ‘contract’ that they must agree to is to give HIM the honor that the Almighty deserves.
We, His people are His treasure. All earth is His. And, for that He asks us to give Him the honor and devotion that is His due.
The seasons are changing where I live. Each morning, the darkness begins to fade a bit sooner. The birds attest to this as they begin singing in the new day. Winter is slowly giving way to spring.
God is changeless. We are still His treasure. Begin each day taking a moment to remember that He deserves our Devotion. He is the Lord thy God…and we are to do our best to remove our human gods from taking His place in being First in our lives!