|Moses with the Ten Commandments|
Exodus 20, The Ten Commandments (NKJV)
And God spoke all these words, saying: 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
Putting these two commandments first on the list addresses the issues that most perturbed God at the time of the wilderness journey. God had delivered the people and was meeting their every need, and yet, at every opportunity, they found or created objects to claim their attention. Even while Moses was on the mountain receiving the Commandments from God, the travelers were in the valley below melting their gold jewelry and worshipping the image of the calf they formed out of the gold.
Positive #1 – I am free to place my full attention on God, my Guide, my Deliverer, and my Provider. I am free to receive God’s love and mercy and I am free from the threat of God’s curse on future generations of my family.
7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
The Hebrew word for vain translates as emptiness, vanity, falsehood. God’s name itself is holy. Any unholy use of His name comes with consequences.
Positive #2 – I am free to call on God by any name that honors who He is. Within that broad range, I am free to be creative in my relationship with Him.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
This commandment gives us a glimpse into God’s thought process as He created the human body. If God rested after His labors, and we are created in His image, then we need rest.
Positive #3 – I am free to cease my labor one day a week without guilt because God designed my body to need rest.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
This commandment is already stated positively and is the only one that comes with a promise.
13 “You shall not murder.
Life is not ours to give or take. We overstep our bounds when we take this work of God into our hands.
Positive #4 – I am free to support life by all means available to me. The Bible tells us the power of life and death is in the tongue. I am free to speak life to the people around me. I am free to share the good news of the abundant life Jesus came to give us.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
When we turn aside from our marriage partner to find sexual fulfillment with another or turn away from The God of Israel to idolatrous worship, we commit adultery.
|Cathy and Larry 03/08/69|
15 “You shall not steal.
Positive #6 – I am free to use my energy to work and earn a wage so that I can purchase what I need. I am free to use what I accumulate to bless others.
16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Positive #7 – I am free and encouraged to always tell the truth. The truth will make me free (John 8:32 KJV). Truth is a powerful ally.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
Positive #8 – I am free to be satisfied with the things that belong to me and free to be happy for my neighbor’s accumulation of worldly possessions.
The commandments God gave His people were not meant to bind us, but to give us freedom. Have you appropriated His freedoms for your life?
Going out with joy and freedom today-