10 Commandments
Monday, January 4, 2010

 

1 Peter 2:12  Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.     

        Before the holidays, I began writing about the 10 Commandments.  I wrote about how the first commandment is about honoring the name of God and the second about not degrading God.  I find, as always, I write more about myself than to my readers.  Although I have contemplated writing a series on the 10 Commandments, the issue was driven home after I returned from vacation.  We had driven for three days in a new pick-up (remember the old one was destroyed by a moose), and returned home tired and weary, ready to unpack, relax with the Dallas Cowboys and prepare for the year ahead.  Yet when we arrived, we found our home ransacked, personal belongings stolen, and the back door in much need of repair since it had been pulverized by the buglers.  In all that, the commandment “you shall not steal” brought new meaning to my life.  So it is from this incident that I have decided to fully explore with my readers the 10 Commandments and what I believe to be their deeper meanings. 

             I believe the commandments were given for three very profound purposes, the least of which is to make us walk the straight and narrow.  The Church (and the Jews before Christ) always fell into 2 errors, each of which was based on the concept of the Commandments being about walking the straight and narrow.  The first error is to read them legalistically.  That was the error of the Pharisees and many modern legalistic churches.  The other error was to dismiss them as symbolism (the sin of the modern liberal church).  That being said then, the purposes of the commandments (at least at the most profound level) is threefold:  

          The first purpose of the Commandments is to reveal to us the Character of God.  In them we see His purity, His wisdom, His holiness, and His grace.  His purity is revealed in the high ideal of human life He projects.  It is an ideal of lives lived for God as revealed in the first four commandments; lives lived in learning about God in the fifth commandment; and lives lived in honoring God in the last 5 commandments.  God’s wisdom is revealed in demonstrating the laws that will hold a culture together.  This is a lesson sorely needed in our nation today.  God knew that if the predominant laws which drive a culture are not first based on an honoring relationship with our Creator (Commands 1-4) then all other laws will be of little value.  Then He wisely laid down the law of honoring parents which is a training ground for honoring Him.  And finally He knew that if we did not have a profound respect for one another, the culture would crumble.  His holiness is revealed in the concept of sanctity (both mean the same).  The laws are given that we might sanctify our relationship to Him (1-4); sanctify our relationship to our parents (5); and to sanctify our relationship to others (6-10).  And His grace is revealed in giving us laws that He knew would lead to joy-filled and purposeful lives (if you don’t understand that stay with me during this series).  

          The second purpose of His Commands is to bring Him glory.  There is a modern heresy which is abounding in the Church today.  And that is that God does not demand that He be glorified.  That would make Him an egotistical God and of little value to humanity.  But nothing could be farther from the truth.  God wants us to glorify Him; because only in bringing glory to God can we find the ultimate fulfillment for our lives.  I have written much about this, but we must stay grounded in this concept.  For bringing glory to God is the chief aim of humanity.  Solomon ended his life examination with these words, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this are the whole duty of man.”  That is glorifying Him and as Solomon knew at the end of his life, after spending his entire life accumulating wealth and subverting God and people to his own ends, only there can we find joy for our souls. 

           The third purpose of God’s Commandments is to bring us a life that will give us joy.  My office in a former church had a big window opening to a major street leading to a road out of town.  Each Sunday morning my heart would sink as I watched that street evacuating members of the churches to the playgrounds around us.  Trucks which they couldn’t afford, were pulling toys they sacrificed credit for, and heading for the mountains, lakes, and streams all to find which was opening resting in the building my office occupied.  The fourth commandment was sacrificed each week to the whims of materialism and the people doing the violating were the principle ones whose marriages were in shambles, families rebellious, and lifestyles were ruinous.  God gave His commands that we might find rest for our souls, order in our lives, and meaning and purpose for our existence.  And only there can we find joy.  

          So in the next few letters, I am going to dwell on the remaining 9 commandments in hopes that God will be glorified and you might find joy in the year ahead.  For the first command, reread the article of Dec. 12, 2009 from the archives of the newletters.  As to the buglers which welcomed me home – my prayer is that I can witness to them of the life they will never find in dishonoring their God and living in disharmony with others.


Kingdom Road Ministries
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10 South Main, Suite 201
Victor, ID 83455
903-262-5088
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