“…what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes which I command today for your good?” Dt. 10:12, 13. NKJV
Yes, God set down rules (laws, commandments, statutes) to live by; and as you can see, He did it for your own good. These laws began with the Ten Commandments. Let’s look at how they help you.
1. You shall have no other gods before Me. Ex. 20:3 NKJV
God is love (1 Jn. 4:8), making this a commandment of love. All love comes from God; even if others love you, it is God loving you through them. If you make a god out of anything other than Jehovah, you are cutting off the Source of love.
If you give in to pride, you make a god out of yourself. If your focus is on sensuality, you’ve made a god of your flesh. Anytime we shift our glory from God and / or our dependency upon him onto someone or something else, we’ve made it or them a god.
If we stick with God, we remain immersed in His love.
2. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above, or on the earth beneath, or in the water or under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I the LORD your God, am a jealous God… Ex. 20:4, 5. NASB
All man-made representations of Him limit His glory and they dishonor Him.
God is benevolently jealous for your love. He knows what’s best for you, which is why He wants you to stay on His channel. God recognizes that you suffer when you don’t, and that breaks His heart. Our Father has far better things in mind for you. (Jer. 29:11)
3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain. Ex. 20:7 NKJV
God is love and all that is holy, and deserves reverence for all that He does for us. When you use His name in petty oaths that you don’t keep or when you couple that name with profanity, you are using God’s name in vain – demeaning His character. Subsequently, you are severing your love-connection with Him and you will have to answer for it. Keep the commandment, keep the love.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do not work… Ex. 20:8 – 10. NKJV
God set this example for us when He created the universe, resting on the seventh day. In our case, we are living in the world for 6 days, but should dedicate the 7th to God. It’s His intent to have a day to bond with you – giving you both physical and spiritual refreshment and covering you with His love. The Sabbath was made for you. (Mk. 2:27)
5. Honor (respect, obey, care for) your father and your mother, so that your days may be prolonged in the land the LORD our God gives you. Ex. 20:12 AMP
Regardless of who your birth parents may be, God saw fit in His grand design to use their unique combination of gene pools to create the one-of-a-kind special person that you are. Even if you don’t know your birth parents, you can still love and honor whoever stepped into that role for you.
Some parents are swayed by the ways of the world and become unsafe to be around. Pray for them and love them (from a distance), for who God intended them to be.
Notice too, that this commandment is the only one of the 10 that adds a blessing to it.
6. You shall not murder. Ex. 20:13 NKJV
‘Murder’ is defined as ‘the unlawful premeditated killing of a human being,’ or ‘the premeditated shedding of innocent blood.’ God alone is the Lord of life. He chooses when it begins and ends. If one purposely snuffs out a life, they are cutting the flow of God’s love off of that victim and the part he or she was to play in God’s plan of spreading His love.
7. You shall not commit adultery. Ex. 20:14 NKJV
God created the sacrosanct institution of marriage as the only place where a man and woman become one – to nurture love between spouses and between spouses and their children.
One of Satan’s desires is to destroy marriage; and one of the best tools for doing that, is to convince one of the partners to commit adultery. Moreover, it usually distances one or more of the family members from God. Adultery is the antithesis of love.
8. You shall not steal.
Personally, I feel that when one steals, they are denying the love of God by renouncing their faith in His promise to meet their every need if they seek His kingdom first. (Mt. 6:33)
9. You shall not testify falsely [that is, lie withhold, or manipulate the truth] against your neighbor (any person). Ex. 20:16 AMP
People only lie when they’re afraid – either of looking bad, trying to protect themselves from the judgment of others, or they are trying to make others look bad, which is a projection of their self-judgment. Whatever the reason, if you lie, you are not expressing the unconditional love for yourself that God gives you, which hurts you and everyone around you.
Love always tells the truth. (1 Cor. 13:6)
10. You shall not covet…anything that is your neighbor’s. Ex. 20:17 NKJV
Covetous behavior is rooted in jealous and envy, both of which are forms of the fear of scarcity, concomitant with lust and hatred – all of which result from a lack of faith in God’s largesse. These behaviors are anti-love. (1 Cor. 13:4)
Many people believe that ‘Old Testament’ laws are no longer applicable. Jesus denies this outright:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For I say unto you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass away from the Law until all is accomplished.” Mt. 5:17, 18. ESV
Moreover, Jesus evolved the Law into its final state:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Mt. 22:37 – 40. ESV
So, everything that God has ever commanded regarding righteous behavior is distilled down to these two commandments: that when you practice love for God (by way of being obedient to Him), it will also show in your love for yourself and your neighbor – acting as a loving person would.
Does that negate the Ten Commandments? No! It is the final fulfillment of them. Jesus’ first commandment embodies the first four, i.e. if you’re loving God you would be walking in those statutes. As far as Jesus’ second commandment is concerned, if you really loved someone, would you dishonor or kill them, commit adultery against them, steal from them, lie to them, or want what is rightly theirs? Of course not.
What is Christ teaching? He is revealing that all of God’s laws are ways to keep the love flowing, to keep you from harm’s way, by helping you to be more like Him so that your gateway to eternity remains open. (Ps. 19:7, 8; Jn. 12:50.)
Lastly, you know you’re going to break some of them. You’re only human; but God knows that. That’s where your confession, repentance and faith in God’s merciful forgiveness comes in. (Dt. 4:30, 32.)
It’s always about the love…
Goodnight and God bless.