Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Ten Commandments, Part 1

The next few weeks, my subject will be the Ten Commandments and related teaching in the New Testament. These commands were first given orally.

“On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, the whole mountain trembled violently, and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.” (Exodus 19:16-19)

“Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when he said to me, ‘Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.’ You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fire to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness. Then the LORD spoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice. He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets. And the LORD directed me at that time to teach you the decrees and laws you are to follow in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully.” (Deuteronomy 4:10-15)

Here is the first commandment:

“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.” (Exodus 20:2-3)

First, we find out who God is by what He did:

• Ten miracles in Egypt
• Many more miracles in the 40 years in the wilderness, including food, water, and clothing.

The Israelites knew firsthand who had brought them out of Egypt.

Second, the imperative:

You shall have no other gods before me.

Since this is the first command, it follows that the violation of it is the greatest sin.

In the past, the gods of Greek, Roman, Germanic, and Norse mythology were the gods that God is speaking about. Historically, this oral command took place around 1440 B.C.

Today, this means all of the world religions with their multitude of created gods. It also means all of the animistic religions of the world, thousands of primitive tribes who are fearful of and attempt to placate demons.

It also means all those in the present that worship their cars, their girlfriends, and themselves.

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)

Here we have the oneness of God and the command to love Him with all that we are.

I think that we all qualify as sinners because of our disobedience to this command in practice as well as in nature.

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