EXODUS 31:18: “When he finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the testimony, stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God.” CSB
OBSERVATION: Why is there so much objection to the 10 Commandments today? When I grew up the 10 Commandments were seen as the basic moral guidelines for our culture. Yet, over the years a growing opposition has called for the removal of the 10 commandments from our schools and from the public square. What is behind this?
There has always been those who do not believe in God. Yet, as a child we proudly said the pledge of allegiance, including the phrase – “…one nation under God…”. As the Bible was taken out of schools, and prayer was seen as a breach of the separation of church and state, the battle against the 10 commandments was emboldened.
When you look at the following commandments, still in today’s culture, there is a general agreement of this common morality.
- “Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
- Do not murder.
- Do not commit adultery.
- Do not steal.
- Do not give false testimony against your neighbor.
- Do not covet your neighbor’s house.
- Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:12-17 CSB
Anyone with common sense would agree that these values are worth teaching in our schools and are needed in our culture. However, as schools have taken out the 10 Commandments, they have tried to replace them with a general teaching of virtues. Yet, trying to teach the virtues of the commandments above does not work. Why? Because it is the first three commandments that give strength to the latter 7.
- “Do not have other gods besides me. Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth.
- Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will not leave anyone unpunished who misuses his name.
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy:”. Exodus 20:3-4, 7-8 CSB
The first three commandments are the reason the 10 Commandments are being rejected in our culture today. They are the backbone of the other 7. In fact, all 10 Commandments were written with the finger of God. They are not negotiable. They are – commandments! Our culture rejects the concept of a Sovereign God. They reject the the notion of a narrow way. It is not the moral code of the 10 Commandments that is being rejected in our culture today – it is the Author!
Without a Sovereign God they become merely suggestions. Yet, if there is a Creator, if God is Sovereign, if He alone is the one true God, then we must embrace all of His commands. These commands are the basic moral code for mankind. Without them we open the doors to a culture and civilization that not only rejects God, but one that dismisses common decency and morality. And in such a culture we find ourselves.
The first two commandments were followed by a stern warning.
- “Do not bow in worship to them (idols, other gods), and do not serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers’ iniquity, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commands.” Exodus 20:5-6 CSB
There are consequences when we dismiss God from the public square. We are seeing these consequences in our culture today. While people debate gun control when there is a mass shooting, there are not many who are calling out the elephant in the room. It is not the access to guns that has led to the increase of violence in our culture. Rather, it is the lack of access to the 10 Commandments. A nation that turns its back on God and His commands opens the door to every sort of evil.
Lord, forgive me for failing to honor You and Your commands. Forgive me for failing to understand the importance of the 10 Commandments. Help me to see them as Your call to live a life that is empowered by love. First, a love and devotion to You as the one true God. And then, a love and devotion to others as I respect and honor them in my life. Your 10 Commandments show me love at work!
- “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” Matthew 22:36-40 CSB
In Jesus Name!