Monday, April 18, 2016

Monday - Exodus 20 - The Decalogue

Although there were many rules and regulations that God intended to give later, He evidently saw the advantage of beginning with a simple list of the most basic principles of morality. Not that this is THE simplest enumeration that He could have contrived. He distilled the listing even more in the New Testament by bringing love to the surface as the encapsulation of the whole Law (Matthew 19:18-19 & 22:37-40).

Anyway, an unadorned repetition of the Ten Commandments seems apropos at this point.  So, without further ado, here it is:
1.         Don’t have any god except Jehovah
2.         Don't make any idols.
3.         Don't use the name of God vainly.
4.         Respect Saturday and keep it holy... do all of your work in six days, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD: in it you shall not do any work.
5.         Honor your father and mother.
6.         Don't kill.
7.         Don't commit adultery.
8.         Don't steal.
9.         Don't bear false witness against your neighbor.
10.        Don't covet your neighbor’s stuff.

The harsh thing about the Decalogue is that just one infraction is sufficient to bring about all of the consequences that universal violation would also demand (Romans 6:23 & James 2:10). One weak link makes the whole chain weak; the breaking of one rule is equivalent to the breaking of the whole law.

No wonder God accompanied the deliverance of His word with such dramatic effects.  It was serious business.  The fierce theatric display was intended to help motivate the people to receive the laws sincerely. Moses even told them as much when he said, "God is come... that His fear may be before your faces, that you sin not" (Exodus 20:20).  Genuine fear is indeed a powerful motivational tool (Exodus 20:18-19).

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