1. You shall have no other gods before me.
The first of the Ten Commandments. In today’s society it is too easy to have other “gods” in our lives. For instance your job, or computer or money can be the thing which brings you temporary peace and some fulfillment. Your spouse or significant other can be that which gives you fulfillment or peace. Yet, it is our Creator who desires to be first in our lives. Not only because He is a “jealous God” (jealous for our love not the vain emotion of jealousy), but because He is our Creator and He wants the best for us.
2. You shall not make any graven image, or any likeness of anything in Heaven above or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down before them, nor serve them; for I am the Lord your God and a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; yet showing mercy to thousands of those that love me and keep my commandments.
The second commandment is like the first, yet more specific. It tells us not to have any idols made of any created thing which like us was created by God. We are not to worship the created but the Creator! Seems like common sense to me; why would you take a block of wood or metal, shape it into the likeness of something and then call it your “god”? Nonsense and foolishness! You created that idol, it is not a living thing and cannot do anything for you at all. Even if the idol that people create is something that is not made into an image such as money or power, it is still an idol because it is depended upon by you for your comfort or security. God is the only One who deserves our love and honor and no other! Not Allah, not Buddha, nor Krishna, nor any other so-called god and certainly not any mere man such as Muhammad.
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.
In our culture today, this one gets broken thousands of times on a daily basis. Every text on a cell phone with “OMG” or any time you speak His name with contempt or a disrespectful tone, you are taking God’s name in vain. It seems to be accepted so much these days that no one says anything about it, but it is true. When we accept Jesus as our savior, God chooses not to remember the times that we did this but we will feel the guilt for it once we realize that it truly is a sin.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
This commandment is the one that many people choose to ignore without a second thought. They work on the Sabbath or go hunting or fishing on that day or just stay home and choose to sleep in or watch television. These things are not bad things but this day was chosen to be a day of rest and worship. To give thanks to God that gives us every day to live and serve Him in our jobs and in our lives in general. To be His witnesses to the world that chooses not to know Him, this is our calling and our rightful service and vocation. The job that we get our pay from is only a means to an end which allows us to serve Him by serving others and on the Sabbath we are to rest from that work and worship Him. It doesn’t matter if you choose the Jewish Sabbath of Saturday or the Christian Sabbath of Sunday but whichever you choose, honor God on that day by worshipping Him.
5. Honor your father and mother; that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you.
Something which should be second nature to all of us, but there are many fathers and mothers who are neglected and rejected as soon as their children leave home and have homes of their own. Why do we not honor and respect our elders anymore? Has our culture degenerated so much that parents are not important or respected at all? This is a commandment of God and should be treated as a warning to all who mistreat the generation which brought us into the world. God doesn’t take it lightly when we do such things and it will be brought to light at the Judgment seat of Almighty God.
In the original words of Hebrew it means that you shall not murder. Like Cain did in Genesis. This could apply to abortion since a “fetus” is just as much a baby and one born after nine months. When looked at from that perspective, Americans break this one hundreds or thousands of times daily. Those children were sent here by God for a reason not to be aborted but to enrich our lives and humanity in general. Of course there are many people who are killed or murdered every day in cities all over the world, these will be accounted for by God. But, Jesus said that if you harbor hatred toward someone in your heart it is the same as murder! That is something to think about as well and something to repent of too.
7.You shall not commit adultery.
This is a big one. Consider where our culture is at this point; sex sells almost everything. If sex is involved in so many transactions in our daily lives, lust is also involved. Jesus said “I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matt. 5:28
Today, there is no way to accurately tell how many times this commandment is broken but I would say it is a LOT! Not just from men but from women too! I am not being a judge of anyone, I have broken these commandments too, we all do! The point that I am making is that we all need to come to Jesus and repent and ask Him to come into our lives and clean our hearts and minds so we can be His.
8. You shall not steal.
This commandment is easy, sometimes too easy to break! Taking a pen home from work. Getting more or less change back at a store. Stealing a piece of candy. Getting money for something that doesn’t belong to you or that you didn’t pay for in the first place. Taking something from a store that didn’t get rung up at the register.
These all seem to be small ways of stealing or even ways that most people don’t think about as stealing, but if you don’t pay for something you stole it! If you were confronted by a police officer for any of these offenses, it would be considered stealing in any court of law. You and I will be called into account for these even if we get into heaven by reason of accepting Jesus so be warned.
9. You will not bear false testimony against your neighbor.
Don’t say anything hurtful about your friend or your neighbor, true or not. Especially if it is not true! You wouldn’t want anyone saying things like that, no matter what the accusation is, about you or your family would you? Remember, any time you point a finger at someone, there are always three pointing back at you. If God notices when a sparrow falls, don’t you think He knows all that we do or think?
10. You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor, regardless of what it may be.
Don’t be envious of anything that your neighbor or anyone else has. This is one that has to do with “keeping up with the Jones’s”! Everyone in the 80’s did this. If a friend got a new car, you wanted one like it or better. If they got a nice gun or anything else, most people would try to “go them one better” by buying a more expensive one, even if it wasn’t needed. It happens today as well. When someone has a really fast computer or one that plays the most awesome games, you want one that is a little better (if you can afford it). These “things” tend to become idols in one way or form at some point. Our culture has a severe case of stuffitis! And it is killing our country and many other nations in the world.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt. 11: 28-30
He will not make life easy for you but your rest will be in Him and in eternity to come. Think on these things and may God bless you and yours. In His Service.