Putting God's Word into Practice…

Deuteronomy 5 ~ The Ten Commandments

on November 15, 2014

And Moses summoned ALL Israel and said to them, “HEAR, O Israel, the statutes and the rules that I speak in your hearing today, and you shall LEARN them and be careful to DO them,” (vs. 1)  God’s people have to put themselves in the place to hear His Word.  A truth-proclaiming church or Bible study would be a good equivalent today.  He requested that they not only hear it but learn it.  Learning requires studying and memorization.  It’s not enough to hear God’s Word, but we must search it out ourselves.  And the final requisite is obedience to God’s Words.  A memorized verse is never better than an applied verse!

The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. Not with our fathers did the LORD make this covenant, but with us, who are all of us here alive today. (vs. 2-3)  God is the only living God, and He is the God of the living.  He if faithful from generation to generation–freshly speaking His truth into each one.  It’s not what our fathers know of Him that matters, but what we ourselves know of Him.

I am the LORD YOUR GOD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. (vs. 6)  These are the words that inaugurated the giving of the Ten Commandments to the new generation.  God is saying “I am YOUR GOD–I belong to YOU!  I rescued you and saved you from slavery and oppression.”  When God asks us to be obedient to His commands it’s because He loves us and has our best interest in mind.  He is worthy of our obedience because our very life is due to His salvation.

The 10 Commandments:

  1. Have no other gods before the LORD. (vs. 7)
  2. Do not make or bow down to idols. (vs. 8-10)
  3. Do not take the Lord’s name in vain. (vs. 11)
  4. Observe the Sabbath day–to keep it holy. (vs. 12-15)
  5. Honor your father and your mother. (vs. 16)
  6. Do not murder. (vs. 17)
  7. Do not commit adultery. (vs. 18)
  8. Do not steal. (vs. 19)
  9. Do not bear false witness. (vs. 20)
  10. Do not covet. (vs. 21)

Interestingly, in the New Testament we are told that the only commandments are to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbor as ourself.  Looking at the 10 commandments we can see how “all the law hangs on those two commands.”  Commandments 1-4 explain how we are to love the Lord, and commandments 5-6 speak to how we love others.  (Matthew 22:36-40)

Look through the list, it is impossible to keep all those laws!  Thankfully our righteousness doesn’t depend on our ability to keep them.  Our righteousness depends on God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness because we’ve broken them!  Our righteousness depends on Jesus’ righteousness, because He is the only person who ever walked this earth blameless and sinless.  Therefore, when He died on the cross it was for our sins–our broken commandments–not His.  When we put our faith in Him, His righteousness becomes ours! (Isaiah 61:10)  Once we are made righteous before our Holy God, we are called to live lives of holiness.  Therefore, the 10 commandments are still relevant today–they teach us how to love God and others! They give us the standard of living that pleases God.

God spoke these commandments directly to His people “with a loud voice, and He added no more. And He wrote them on two tablets of stone.” (vs. 22) What a generous God! Only 10 commandments–spoken and written for the safety, salvation, and joy of generations to come.  The voice of the Lord caused His people to fear Him–to have the utmost respect for Him.  They took His commands very seriously, and promised to do everything He said.

I’ve been there.  Several times I have attended conferences–times set apart to hear from the Lord and let Him speak to my life.  His presence is palpable; He shows His glory and greatness; He speaks a word to me igniting conviction, change and freedom.  I am revved up, enthusiastic about obedience.  But I know that those feelings won’t last, and what’s more, God knows that initial passion won’t last.  But it doesn’t keep Him from speaking to me, from wanting the best for me, or from charging me to “not forget.”

Oh that they had such a mind as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and with their descendants forever! (vs. 29)

You shall be careful therefore to do as the LORD your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess. (vs. 32-33)


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