Wednesday, 2 February 2022
“I am the LORD your God, who has brought you…out of the house of bondage.” -Exodus 20:2
The Book of Exodus is the account of the Lord’s deliverance for His people from the land of bondage and slavery. God gives the new nation of Israel, the Ten Commandments as a pattern for living a consecrated life to the Lord. As New Testament believers, how does today’s reading portion impact us?
As believers, we have been saved from the bondage to sin and made secure in Christ. How great the Father’s love for us that He gave His Beloved Son to be the substitute for our sins! When we look at the heart of God – the agape love that withheld nothing from us, how could we not respond with hearts filled with gratitude and love for this great King? Now we are the New Testament Israel – ‘a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession...’ (1 Peter 2:9), who are called to follow the heart of God.
Jesus emphasized that He came to fulfil the commandments and He gave a deeper meaning to the commandments than the Jews perceived (‘Sermon on the Mount’). The law is a guideline, a directive for a consecrated living as children of God, saved by His divine love and we should respond in love and obedience. From this perspective let us understand how the Ten Commandments apply to us.
The Ten Commandments can be categorized into two:
Dealing with our relationship with God:
You shall have no other gods before Me (Vs 3): For us today, this means giving God the central position in our lives and not allowing things like money, work or recognition to become a priority over our relationship with the Lord.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image (Vs 4): In the present day context, it is easy to make an idol even of our spiritual leaders, like Moses may have been for the Israelites, but by it we forget God who has placed them over us. Our focus should be to worship God in Spirit and truth.
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain (Vs 7): The Almighty Lord’s name is to be revered and should not be used in idle, insincere or slanderous speech. The next time you say, ‘Praise the Lord.’ , mean it out if a grateful heart,
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. (Vs 8) For the believer, Sabbath is a time of intimate personal fellowship with God, being spiritual refreshed and strengthened.
Dealing with our relationship with others:
Honor your father and your mother (Vs12 ): Our parents are the authorities that God had placed over us and we should respect them. This is the first commandment with a promised blessing.
You shall not murder (Vs13): Jesus said the root cause of murder, anger itself is a sin (Matthew 5:21-22) Let us regard every life as a valuable creation of God.
You Shall Not Commit Adultery (Vs 14): This commandment requires that we honor the sanctity of our marriage. (Matthew 5:27-28).
You Shall Not Steal (Vs15): This commandment emphasizes the need to work and earn a livelihood rather than live idle lives (Ephesians 4:28) as well as giving God the tithes and offerings due to Him (Malachi 3:8–11).
You Shall Not Bear False Witness (Vs16): It means that our speech and actions should not be deceptive, but rather we should be truthful in all things. God cannot lie and He hates deception in His children.
You Shall Not Covet (Vs 17): Covetousness desires another’s possession and is the root of most evil. Further, covetousness reveals that we are not contend with the abundant blessings that God has given us.
May our true understanding and obedience to His Commandments be out of deep gratitude and love for the divine mercies that He has shown us.
Think on: ‘For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments…’ (1 John 5:3)