Ground Rules for Life
Holy One, I pray today and every day, “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done.” Your Kingdom is so great!
Read Exodus 20:1-17
 And God spoke all these words:  “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.  “You shall have no other gods before me.  “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.  You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,  but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.  “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.  “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work,  but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.  For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.  “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.  “You shall not murder.  “You shall not commit adultery.  “You shall not steal.  “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.  “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat great commandment came first of all (3)?
I love the way that our awesome God, who has just appeared with thunder and trumpets and fire, introduces himself by making a connection with the story of this community (2) before he tells them the ground rules. This is a very familiar passage and is often thought of as a list of don’ts. But the Ten Commandments are actually the founding principles of God’s covenant with Israel based on love and mutual trust. The first four commands (3-11) are about being single-minded in our relationship with God and doing nothing to dilute or misuse his name. The other six (12-17) are about individuals–and especially about our responsibilities toward others. They invite us to respect parents, life, vows, property and truth, and they even address our inner feelings (17). If every individual today were to take these responsibilities as seriously as they take their “rights,” think of the transformation this would make to the societies in which we live!
In what ways do I see God’s commands followed? Ignored? How do I demonstrate to others my own obedience?
Father God, I praise You for Your marvelous commandments. Help me apply them to my life so that I may be seen as Your child.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Discovery is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.