Summary of passage: God gives Moses the Ten Commandments. Here, we study the First Four, which address the people’s relationship with God.
1) You shall have no other gods before me.
2) You shall have no idols of any form for I am a jealous God.
3) You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
4) Keep the Sabbath holy.
7a) “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”
b) Personal Question. My answer: This is a tough one. In every way. God’s grace, love, mercy, understanding, light.
8 ) Exodus 20:3: You shall have no other gods before me. Ask God to always have Him at my center.
Exodus 20:4-6: You shall have no idols of any form. God warns that he will punish the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hat him but show love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and Keep His commandments. Ask God to have Him at my center and to listen to Him and not to the world.
Exodus 20:7: You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God. God warns He will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name. Ask God to temper my anger and keep a clean mouth.
Exodus 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:12-15: Keep the Sabbath holy. God blessed the Sabbath. Ask God to allow me to rest in Him always and forever.
Conclusions: I like how the Ten Commandments are broken up, especially after yesterday which I thought was a lot to take in.
End Notes: We cannot underestimate the weight of the Ten Commandments here and what it meant. Finally, for the first time in the history of the world, mankind (specifically the Israelites) have a binding treaty with their God. For millenia, people worshipped fickle gods who may or may not be pleased with offerings or with their behavior. Here, God has told His people exactly what He expects from them and what will please Him and how to live their lives. This is a momentous occasion and the people know it.
This concept is very hard for those of us who have known God our entire lives to go back 4000 years. Can you imagine the hope? God is promising if you obey Him, He will take away diseases, struggles, and war and usher in a secure, wealthy society. It’s almost as if God is offering us a second chance after the Fall. Can you know imagine and take in the heartbreak of God when His people failed Him again?
We must remember the people THEMSELVES heard God speak these words. They were so afraid that they asked Moses to be the one to deliver God’s words from now on (Exodus 20:18-19). Can you imagine? I want to hear God’s voice!!
Are the Ten Commandments new? No. These are laws that have been in the heart of man since Adam. They are deep in our consciouses, rooted in nature, rooted in our souls. God just put these into words.
This is God’s Laws, NOT Moses’ laws despite the fact they are commonly known as the Mosaic Law. God spoke these, NOT Moses. This is ALL God. NO man is above God. He is the highest law of the land.
The Code of Hammurabi, the closest analogy to God’s laws at this time, focuses on the ruler, Hammurabi. It is laws about his supremacy, not any god, much like rules from our government today.
God is the ultimate authority, not man’s fickleness or idea of what is right or wrong. We need God’s moral code to teach us, to guide us, to set expectations and consequences if we fail, to serve as an impetuous. Otherwise, it would be all about “me” and not about Him or others.
The Commandments and all of God’s decrees are a gift from Him to His people. Without them, we’d be lost. We need the moral guidance, instruction, and impetuous. Otherwise, life would have no meaning.
First Commandment: The Commandments are listed in order of importance. We must remember polytheism is the norm. Monotheism is a new idea. Here God takes great pains to say He is the only one out there.
Note how first God delivers the Egyptians. First He provides for them. First He meets their needs. Then He issues His laws. He blesses first, then asks for obedience. Amazing!
Second Commandment: Again, this time period has people worshipping thousands of man-made objects. God spoke with words, not images. God is a Spirit, not an object.
God must be supreme for our own good, not God’s. With Him at the center, we flourish. With other things at the center, we sin.
As long as you love God, you will not be punished.
Third Commandment: Self explanatory. Revere God and His name.
Fourth Commandment: Remember the Rest. Remember that we rest in Him through Jesus. Every day should be a rest as we remember the finished work of God. We remember and celebrate God every day, not just on Sundays.
But as God rested physically, so should we. From work. We are not to be idle. We are to work, THEN rest.
Under the New Covenant, no one is under obligation to observe a Sabbath day (Colossians 2:16-17 and Galatians 4:9-11). Galatians 4:10 says Christians are not bound to observe any day or week in particular. “The rest we enter into as Christians is something to experience every day, not just one day a week – the rest of knowing we don’t have to work to save ourselves, but our salvation is accomplished in Jesus (Hebrews 4:9-10).” Credit to Enduring Word commentaries.