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10 Words - 2 Commands (part 1)

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God: Now That I Have Your Attention...

Easier to be led to God than to follow?
I Am YHWH, I brought you out of Egypt
I showed you loyalty, faithfulness…trust me, and now it’s your turn

The Ten Words

Literally “words” in Deut 5:6-21
Proclaimed in a loud voice to the whole assembly
BIG PICTURE - God gave these commandments, Jesus rehearsed them, more than just some foundational rules. Helps to understand them, though, as they form a moral fabric, still applicable today.

1) No Gods Other than YHWH

Who/what area these Gods?
Supernatural beings, angels
YHWH is to be worshiped as the only, sole divinity
All others are to be understood as their role in the universe, and only YHWH is divine - He is not superior to other divinities, He IS the ONLY divinty!

2) No Idolatry

Every form, every sort of idolatry - no exception
“Heaven above, earth below, waters below” = nothing from anywhere is to be copied and used as an object of reverence.
Idolatry in context then:
It was an elaborate system and lifestyle, running counter to God’s idea of true worship
Idolatry was selfish, easy, convenient, normal, and it made sense to man
This object was the very true representation of what I was worshiping, so if I presented something to it, it really got to the divine being I was worshiping
The attraction of idolatry was powerful, and idolatry could easily grab and draw them away from God.
On the contrary, the commandments set the stage for the command to live holy LIVES, not just pull out a idol when you need something
Idolatry made people FEEL good...
What about the 10 Commandments, the temple, the tabernacle, etc.?
Associated with YHWH, but never bowed down to or worshiped
POINT for US: Don’t worship the 10, don’t worship the cross, don’t worship anything else!

3) Don’t Misuse YHWH’s Name

We think of cursing
More and more curse words becoming common language
We like to use “cleaner alternatives” to the bad words
But the real meaning of this commandment
Don’t make light of it
Don’t mock it
Don’t speak about YHWH disrespectfully
Don’t even name your kids with names linked to him, to look good socially, if your beliefs are pagan or anti-God.
And stop the “swear to God” or “As God is my witness” or “Oh my God”
Relationship meant knowing name, knowing Him, and speaking His divine name properly
There was death for dishonest prophets, claiming to speak for God

4) Keep the Sabbath, in Holy Way

Balance between “stopping” and “Keeping holy” - they were supposed to do both on the Sabbath - not just a “day off”
To be a sign of the covenant, a weekly reminder, openly showing devotion to maintaining their relationship with God
We are not Jewish, we do not observe the Sabbath, but....we celebrate the resurrection each Sunday, and we break from our routine to connect with Him, and each other - it’s important!
ASIDE: Many do not go to church, or get active in church, because it’s their day off, or their “only day off.”
God says, put me first, and I’ll take care of you, your family, you will be stronger. Trust Me?
What was truly prohibited? Usual labors, except those that cannot be stopped without causing harm (milking cows, feeding animals, priestly service, etc.)
Stop work, AND worship God - BOTH!
THEM and US - Worship is not to be something that HAS to be done; it is implied that followers of God WANT to - no imposition!

5) Honor Father and Mother

Parents have the awesome role to represent God to children!
Small and large ways, but also...
care for them in old age; respect what they do for you, possibly related to inheritance
Thus the promise of long life, not individual life spans, but rather protection of God’s people as they follow Him, and this commandment is included
ASIDE - best support for literal, 6-day Creation

6) Murder

Not “kill” even though today the two are closer in meaning
Very similar today as then
Putting to death improperly, for selfish reasons
No “qualifying conditions,” such as taking own life or ‘mercy killing’

7) Adultery (ANE=the “great sin”)

God instituted the family
Marriage is foundational - creation order and society
Husband and wife must trust each other
Adultery betrays intimacy that specially connects husband and wife
Implied: all other practices of sexuality, outside marriage, are prohibited
Adultery threatens basic family stability - this is a BIG DEAL to God!
Marriage is to be protected - Jesus even expands on this in Matt. 19

8) Stealing

Taking something not belonging to you without permission
Ownership brings responsibility and respect
Threatens social order, causes pain to others
Steal food - others go hungry
Steal work animal - farmer is interrupted
Steal a child (kidnapping) - tears apart a family
Steal clothing - another suffers from cold or heat

9) False Witness (false testimony)

Fales impression of the facts
A decent society requires a reliable court system/processes
If witnesses in a trial do not tell the truth, it is difficult for judges to render proper decisions
Court system depends on honesty of people
Neighbor = any other human you may deal with
Includes other dishonesty - common sense

10) Coveting

Desiring, wanting, craving something
Commandment is not “don’t covet” because desiring is not wrong, but desiring objects that already belong to someone else is
House = family and property
Spouses, servants, animals - much crossover from other commandments
Wishing to have god things is good
Wishing to have the wrong things is bad
James? You ask for wrong things!
Respecting people includes respecting their possessions


Galatians 3:24 NASB95
Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.
Can you keep the commandments? No
Were they given to be kept perfectly? No
IF you could keep them perfectly, would you go to heaven? YES
Only Jesus did
Everyone else needs to turn to Christ, trust Him
Rich young ruler - Matt 19, Luke 18 - he lists the commandments he’s kept, but he worships his wealth. His lifestyle is worship of something other than God, and thus he cannot be saved, unless he repents.
The Law, the 10 Words, were given so we could see we need a Savior!
These are condemning for the lost, rightfully so.
These are basic, foundational, for the believer.
God has revealed Himself, and then He explains what kind of response He expects, which is obedience and loyalty to Him, non-stop, and He was the one who said
“Let Me explain who I Am, and what I’ve done; now you make a choice.”
10 Words - Next week...the 2 Commands
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