Is there anything you need to bring before God in repentance? Take time to do so now. Thank God for his mercy.
Read Exodus 20:1–17
And God spoke all these words:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
4 “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. 5 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, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 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. 11 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.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 “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.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow many of the Ten Commandments can you list? Reread the passage to identify them all.
In Hebrew the Ten Commandments are known simply as “the ten words” (from which we get the Greek word decalogue), or even “the ten things.” Ten is not a significant Old Testament number. Maybe there were ten so that you could count them off on your fingers when memorizing. (This is a serious scholarly theory.)
On the one hand they are timeless words for all people everywhere. Be an honest witness. Do not steal. Honor your parents. The world would be a better place for all if everyone did this.
On the other hand they are specific to Israel and their journey out of Egypt. Note the self-identification of the “God of the Exodus” in verse 2. Note the way the Sabbath command refers Israel back to creation (or, in the Deuteronomy version, it points back to the Exodus also; Deut. 5:15).
If we had more hands, we could note too that the final “commandment” (17) is about not coveting, which anticipates how Jesus will say that the law is really a matter of the heart as much as a matter of what you end up doing. These were radical ideas for the ancient world; they are still radical today.
Pick one of the commandments that really strikes you and ask God to show you how to shape your life in obedience to it.
Merciful God, I have not always kept Your commands. Teach me how to walk in obedience out of love for You, not out of fear.
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