Summary of passage: The last six Ten Commandments given to Moses by God that apply to people’s relationships with one another.
Honor your father and mother.
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 anything that belongs to your neighbor.
9) Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16: Honor your father and mother. God promised if you do you may live long in the land the Lord gave you and Deuteronomy adds so that it may go well with you in the land. Ask God to have a good relationship with my parents.
Exodus 20:13: You shall not murder. Ask God to tame my anger.
Exodus 20:14: You shall not commit adultery. Ask God to tame my emotions and capture my thoughts.
Exodus 20:15: You shall not steal. Ask God to tame my selfishness.
Exodus 20:16: You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. Ask God to quiet my tongue and follow Jesus’ Golden Rule and not engage in gossip.
Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21: You shall not covet or set your desire on anything that belongs to your neighbor including his house, wife, servant, ox, donkey, etc. Ask God to have peace with what I have and to focus on Him and His purpose for my life; the rest will take care of itself.
Conclusions: Short but sweet. These commandments are very straightforward so us dumb humans can comprehend them. Sometimes I think relationships with people are harder than a relationship with God because God is perfect and people are not. Most of us will never murder one another but we could with our words and our spite. Adultery can be committed in the mind as well. Stealing is as simple as not paying for a forgotten item in a grocery cart. Gossip for us women is hard to avoid but we can choose to not engage in it. Coveting (desiring something that doesn’t belong to you) is especially hard for us in the Western World who are bombarded by advertisement and celebrities that fuel this desire and our lax culture who say it’s okay to want what others have. If we have God, we have enough and I believe this is God’s point here. You should desire Him more than anything else in this world. Nothing else matters.
End Notes: Fifth Commandment: Care for your parents throughout their days. Not all that long ago, it was customary for your parents to live with you until they died. Now we shove them in homes and pay others to care for them. Care for your parents as they have cared for you.
Sixth Commandment: The two words in Hebrew here means “unjustified killing”. This does not prohibit justified killing i.e. self-defense, etc. Jesus expanded this to mean killing in the heart as well (Matthew 5:21-26) and wishing they were dead.
Seventh Commandment: The Old Testament clearly outlaws adultery and the punishment is death (Deuteronomy 22:22). The Old Testament also addresses sleeping with a virgin and the punishment for that (usually marriage–Exodus 22:16), which is pre-marital sex. Again, Jesus expanded this in Matthew 5:27-30 to mean even just looking at someone in a desireous way can be committing adultery if it is committed in the heart.
Eighth Commandment: We can also steal from God what is rightfully His by not fulfilling His commands such as tithing or serving Him or anything else that involves giving of ourselves up to Him. (Malachi 3).
Ninth Commandment: This is also slander and gossip and lying. This was the sin that sent Jesus to the cross when false witness after false witness testified against him. Satan is behind it all and instead of “speaking our minds”, we should prayerfully control our tongues first–something I’m bad at.
Tenth Commandment: This one is aimed at our hearts. There is nothing wrong with desiring things except when it is something possessed by another.