Introduction of the Law and the Ten Commandments

Deuteronomy 4:44-5:33 – God’s Covenant Lordship

Deuteronomy 6 – The Principle of Consecration — Love the Lord Your God

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One Reply to “Introduction of the Law and the Ten Commandments”

  1. In Deuteronomy 5:1 Moses summons the Israelites and begins to teach them again, to recite the laws and decrees, even the Ten Commandments. I saw the phrase “Learn them and be sure to follow them” (5:1) and thought about the word, “learn.” This is far more than simply memorize, much deeper and Moses is trying to make a point here. After all the wandering through the wilderness, they are on the verge of entering the Promised Land, “in the valley near Beth Peor east of the Jordan” (4:46) and Moses reminds them of the covenant made with the Lord our God. It’s a powerful statement and significant moment.

    1. You shall have no other gods before me
    2. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything and worship it
    3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God
    4. Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy
    5. Honor your father and your mother
    6. You shall not murder
    7. You shall not commit adultery
    8. You shall not steal
    9. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor
    10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or anything that belongs to your neighbor

    It seems to me that every mainstream religion has some basic set of principles on which to base their beliefs. In truth, as Christians we agree with many others, at least conceptually. Moses summarizes the law in a simple verse, one that should be “learned” completely:

    Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments  that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:4-9

    Love God and strengthen the community of believers, your neighbors, your family. There are no words that command us to prosper and get rich, to accumulate wealth and the latest version of everything.  God knows these things are only temporal, riches will not endure. On the contrary, if we adhere to these commands, if we take care of our relationship to God first then our family and our neighbors, then we will be rewarded.  The concluding words in Deuteronomy 6 implore us to follow these simple commandments for a reason beyond just the words and letters, God wants us to prosper “and if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness” (6:25).

    From the chorus in Matt Maher’s incredible worship song: “Every hour I need you, my one defense, my righteousness, O God how I need you.”

    Lord may we remember these Ten Commandments, may we remember that we need you more today than yesterday, indeed we all need you. I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ, that we would love the Lord with everything we have and that we would love our neighbors, inviting them to join the feast.

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