Tag Archives: commandments

The Ten Commandments

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.” Then the people stood at a distance, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.  (Exodus 20:1-21, NRSV)


The 10 Commandments.

Are there actually 10?

And how are they numbered?

You see there are at least 2 different numberings of the 10 Commandments, as you see in the 2 pictures on this post. The one on the left is the Lutheran/Catholic numbering and the one on the right is most others and the more widely accepted numbering. Why 2 different numberings? Probably because the commandments are found in Exodus (as seen above) and in Deuteronomy 5:4-20.

When I count in the reading above I get 13 things we are supposed to or not supposed to do. So why 10?

I honestly don’t know why. It is interesting though to see the emphasis put on these. They are a lifestyle that God invites all of us into. God gives the guidelines of a grace-filled life to Moses on 2 stone tablets. One laid out the way we are to interact with God and one the way we are to interact with our brothers and sisters here.

So follow 10 or 13 and use whatever numbering you like, but know these are rules we can not possibly keep, in their simplest form or the expanded form that Jesus gives us later, but are a lifestyle for us to live into to be in the right relationship with God and each other.

Love the Lord your God and Your Neighbor as yourself!


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follow after God

If you follow my statutes and keep my commandments and observe them faithfully, I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Your threshing shall overtake the vintage, and the vintage shall overtake the sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and live securely in your land. And I will grant peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and no one shall make you afraid; I will remove dangerous animals from the land, and no sword shall go through your land. You shall give chase to your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. Five of you shall give chase to a hundred, and a hundred of you shall give chase to ten thousand; your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. I will look with favor upon you and make you fruitful and multiply you; and I will maintain my covenant with you. You shall eat old grain long stored, and you shall have to clear out the old to make way for the new. I will place my dwelling in your midst, and I shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people. I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be their slaves no more; I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect. But if you will not obey me, and do not observe all these commandments, if you spurn my statutes, and abhor my ordinances, so that you will not observe all my commandments, and you break my covenant, I in turn will do this to you: I will bring terror on you; consumption and fever that waste the eyes and cause life to pine away. You shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. I will set my face against you, and you shall be struck down by your enemies; your foes shall rule over you, and you shall flee though no one pursues you. And if in spite of this you will not obey me, I will continue to punish you sevenfold for your sins. I will break your proud glory, and I will make your sky like iron and your earth like copper. Your strength shall be spent to no purpose: your land shall not yield its produce, and the trees of the land shall not yield their fruit. (Leviticus 26:3-20, NRSV)

Why do we follow after God?

Is it to get something?

Here we read about those who faithfully keep the commandments and follow you will be blessed, but if you don’t obey and follow you will receive terror.

We are usually hard pressed to do something for long because of a reward, but all parents know that a reward will work. But is that the real reason we should follow, because we get something?

No, but does it hurt?


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So now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you? Only to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD your God and his decrees that I am commanding you today, for your own well-being. Although heaven and the heaven of heavens belong to the LORD your God, the earth with all that is in it, yet the LORD set his heart in love on your ancestors alone and chose you, their descendants after them, out of all the peoples, as it is today. Circumcise, then, the foreskin of your heart, and do not be stubborn any longer. For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them food and clothing. You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:12-19, NRSV)

What does God require?

Fear the Lord.

Walk in His ways.

Love Him.

Serve Him with all your heart and soul.

Keep the commandments.

And love the stranger.

So it is not enough to say you love God and walk in His ways if you hate the other. Because not doing one of the things God requires of you is like not doing them at all.

So walk with God and love the stranger, because God loves you!


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World conqueror

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For the love of God is this, that we obey his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome, for whatever is born of God conquers the world. And this is the victory that conquers the world, our faith. Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:1-5, NRSV)

We will overcome the world! We have no need to fear anything or any one.

For if we love God, we are His children and therefore we will be one with Jesus and through the relationship we have with Jesus we will conquer the world!

We will be victorious!

So cling to your God and know that no matter what it is you are facing that He will walk with you through it and see you to the glorious life He has in store for you.


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20130723-201433.jpgMy little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says I know him but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. (1 John 2:1-7 ESV)

Whoever says I know him but does not keep his commandments is a liar…

If we take Jesus’ explanation of the commandments, none of us keep the commandments, so all of us are liars… We need to walk in the way that Jesus walked. That means we need to welcome the person that no one else will and eat with sinners, and the outcasts.

We are liars and need to acknowledge that, and realize that we are still covered by the blood and Christ and asked to walk in His way. We will be known by walking in His way and doing what He did, which was calling out the religious uptight for what they were, people who looked out for themselves and not the last, lost, least and little. We need to love as He did and allow Him to work in and through us.


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Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens. Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast. By your appointment they stand this day, for all things are your servants. If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life. I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts. The wicked lie in wait to destroy me, but I consider your testimonies. I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commandment is exceedingly broad. (Psalm 119:89-96 ESV)

Forever is a mighty long time, but that is how long the word of God is firmly fixed in the heavens…

So why then are people claiming they have some secret knowledge that they know who is in and who is out? Or is it just me because people are saying that some sins are worse than others, even if Jesus didn’t talk about it.

The interesting thing about this portion of this psalm is the way it ends. “Your commandments exceedingly broad.” That is wide is the commandment of the Lord. Many Christians today would say as Jesus did narrow is the way, and therefore the rules are tight and clear that the people who follow the rules are in and those who don’t are out. But what rules do we have to follow, because some of the rules we over look. Like wearing mixed fibers in our clothing. Eating lobster and shrimp and crab and bacon… But these rules don’t apply any more. Why don’t they apply? Isn’t all of the bible the word of God and it stands forever in the heavens so none of the rules pass away. Or is it only the rules that God gave us…

But I digress… Broad is the commandment, what does that mean? That the commandment is able to allow some give and take or is bigger than we think? Maybe the commandment can’t belayed into a box that we can neatly hold and keep to ourselves but it is bigger than us or anything we can think. Just like God. When we try to keep Him in our neat .little box and make Him who we want Him to be He surprises us and does something that doesn’t fit the box…

Don’t keep God or His commandments in a box…


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Close, but no cigar…

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions. (Mark 12:28-34 ESV)

You are not far from the kingdom of God, but you are not there yet either…

So what does that mean?

The greatest commandment is to love the Lord you God with all your heart, soul and mind  and the second is like the first, to love your neighbor as yourself. So from these 2 commandments we have to love 3 people(s): God, our neighbor and our self. We have to love ourselves, our neighbor like we love ourselves, and God. And these three loving acts are more important than burnt offerings and sacrifice. These things are more important to worshiping God than any act of worship prescribed in the law, is what the scribe is saying.

But that is not quite all of it, that doesn’t get us to the fullness of the kingdom… Jesus tells the scribe that he is not far from the kingdom, so what is he missing? What part is not there?

This is not in our text but maybe it was his understanding of what he was saying, or the position of his heart? Maybe he was playing lip service to the things coming out of his mouth. He did not feel or believe what he was saying.

You see this is all saints day and many of us believe that we can not be a saint until we have died. And my friends that is simply not the truth. We are saints now in this life, it is not something we wait for. We are connected to God here and now, and so through that connection we are saints.

Live in your sainthood, and believing that God loves you and wants to to love others. Be love to the world around you, helping all of creation to gather and give praise to God and know the love that they all have from Him.


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