Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Ten Commandments

(Exodus 19: 1-9) On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone forth out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. And when they set out from Reph′idim and came into the wilderness of Sinai, they encamped in the wilderness; and there Israel encamped before the mountain. And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples; for all the earth is mine, and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”
So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the Lord had commanded him. And all the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” And Moses reported the words of the people to the Lord. And the Lord said to Moses, “Lo, I am coming to you in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with you, and may also believe you for ever.”

God gave Moses the ten commandments on the mountain even as the Israelites below were breaking the first commandment and worshiping a golden calf. It appears as if the Israelite’s response “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.” was extremely short sighted and arrogant in retrospect when we consider what the scriptures say later, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” 
(James 2:10) and again, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” (Romans 3:23)
We human beings all share an innate sense of right and wrong and most often see ourselves as good people, but the prophet Jeremiah said “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) leaves us with a clearer understanding that our sense of righteousness is in no way comparable to what God expects if we ever intend to have eternal fellowship with Him. “You, therefore, must be perfect, as you're heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48) The ten commandments are the yardstick of God whereby we can measure our own shortcomings.

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