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Day 31: Ten Commandments—The Way Through the Wilderness

Post-Resurrection Tuesday: A 31-day Lenten Devotional Series by Rev. Dave Brown


It was not just a “sound and light show,” however. “God spoke all these words.” The first thing he says is a reminder of who he is and what he has done. “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” The Covenant God has kept his gracious promise and has delivered his people. His relationship with them has risen above every storm, all complaining, grumbling, doubts and fears and the rebellions of his people. He has met them at e very crisis and has maintained watch over them day and night. He has brought them to this place for a covenant making ceremony.

On this day, the LORD articulated his law in ten words. Kaiser summarizes the purpose of these precepts: “The purpose of the law of God was 1) to show man’s awful sinfulness in his moral distance from God;

2) to show man’s need for a mediator if he ever was to approach God; 3) to show man how to live more abundantly by using the unchangeable perfections of the nature of God as revealed in the moral law as his guide.” (Kaiser:420)*

The “Ten Words” spoken by the voice of God reveal the three right relationships that God requires:

First and foremost, God demands single-minded devotion to him. “You shall have no other gods before me.” If the people of Israel were at all observant during their sojourn in Egypt, they would have seen that the Egyptians worshiped everything that moved and worshipped Pharaoh as a god-like being. Because of that, the One and only true God had completely decimated Egypt and all her so-called gods. The LORD called Israel to avoid making any visual or verbal representations of God. Name Image and Likeness (NIL) is a 21st Century concept with 10 commandment roots. Athletes demand payment for the use of their name, image and likeness. But God says, there’s no place for promoting the names of anyone but the One invisible God according to His Holy name. Making an image of him to worship can only defames him.

Second, God called Israel to remember the Sabbath.  This is a proper response to God’s work of Creation and Redemption. In six days, the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them. Then he rested. In a short season he used Moses to redeem the people of Israel from the house of slavery, so that they, too, could rest in prospect of a final rest in the promised land. Ryken notes the word remember in his commentary on the sabbath. Remember, the LORD’s Day is for worship, mercy and rest.

Third, God calls them to “Honor your father and mother.” Family is the basic building block of society. When parents raise children in honorable ways and children honor their parents, the children learn how to bless the society into which they will emerge. Honoring parents teaches them to not murder, not commit adultery, to not steal, lie or covet what God has given to neighbors but not to them.

Reflections: But what if I do not keep these ten words?  It appears that the words God spoke frightened and convicted the people. Hence, they said to Moses: “You speak to us and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” It is a fearful thing to stand in the presence of God. The only way we can do so is if the LORD sends his mediator. This is exactly what he did when he sent his one and only Son. The Apostle Paul taught his “son” Timothy this truth when he wrote: “There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” He is the LORD of Glory. He came from heaven to earth to ransom us by his blood shed on the cross. Follow him and he will lead you through the wilderness, be the fulfillment of the law in your place, and give you his salvation so rich and free.
  • 2 April 2024
  • Author: Guest Blogger
  • Number of views: 315
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Categories: TheologyCulture
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