Summing up the Ten Commandments

I thought I might be able to sum up the Ten Commandments in one post. That is not going to happen. It might take a couple of posts to sum up the ten commandments.

I was surprised to see how many people got the order of the ten commandments wrong. I was also shocked to see how many people got the actual commandment wrong. The fifth commandment is NOT Thou shall not commit murder.

The ten commandments were written a long time ago in a time that was different from today. No television, reporters, radio, internet, computers and fancy electronics. No google either. They were written for the Jewish people while they were out wandering in the desert. They rested before Mount Sinai and Moses went up to listen to God and record the commandments. Those commandments still apply to everyone today. They are just as relevant, just as applicable to each and everyone of us.

I found out that the ten commandments are known as the Decalogue, meaning ten words. Although the commandments each are more than one word. It also goes with “And God spoke all these words”, Exodus 20:1. I also saw that the first four commandments govern our relationship to God, while the last six concern our relationships with one another.

We all know that as humans, we need rules, laws and/or help to be accountable to each other. Unfortunately, too many people want to be free to do what they want. People want a quick fix to make themselves happy. Those who do not recognize a higher or superior being think that we are here by coincidence. Just make the best of your life and do what makes you happy. Those people are never happy and are always looking for something better, the next quick fix.

When we recognize that there is a God, things fall into place much more easily and our understanding of how we need to let God lead us, let Him govern our lives and give our love to Him, makes life better. We are then content and not always struggling to find that next fix. As a Christian, our fix is God and Jesus. That is why we need the ten commandments. That is why we need to try and follow them.

I saw that, as humans, we will never be able to obey the ten commandments completely. We will fail. As soon as you think you have one commandment down pat, another one comes up and rears its head. Then you think, wow, I didn’t think this one would come and bite me. We need to remember that we can always ask Jesus to forgive us. That is why Jesus died on the cross for us. He took all of our sins to the cross and died for us. I keep thinking, He must really love us to have done that for us. Yes, He does. God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit want to be in a loving relationship with each and every one of us. I’m not sure how they can keep all of us straight but they do.

Once you realize that, as a human being, we are not in control. We have someone who loves us beyond all reason, beyond anything we could know, and He will do right by us. As long as you can say, I love you too, Jesus. I give my life to you, you are in the best hands possible. Following the ten commandments is difficult, but I would rather follow the ten commandments than anything else.

Thou Shalt Not Kill – The Sixth Commandment

The sixth Commandment is thou shalt not kill. Easy. Right? You may not, cannot, should not kill. I am informed that the commandment needs to be interpreted as “thou shalt not murder”.

Well, then I came up with the issue of abortion. As a Christian, I believe that abortion is wrong. As soon as life is conceived, it is not ours to take away. God has determined who does or does not get pregnant.  I went so far as to question the issue about rape or if the mother’s life or the baby’s life is in danger. It should be the mother’s natural instinct to protect the life of her child. God determines who lives and who dies. Again God determines who does or does not get pregnant.

I know this is going to raise the hackles of many women who believe they have the right to determine what they want done with their body. However, as a true Christian, it is not a woman’s right to end a life in her body. It was God’s decision to begin life. He alone knows what is best. As a Christian, we need to willingly submit to God’s will. He sees things we have no knowledge about. And as Christians, a lot of us just can’t submit to His will. We think we know better. We think we have it all figured out. But we don’t. We need to take all things to God in prayer. God doesn’t always answer right away but He does answer. He loves us and He has our back.

Then I wondered about defending oneself against attack or against an attack against their family or home. Yes, this is perfectly acceptable against an evil doer, especially when the intention of the evil doer is to harm or murder. The Bible talks about defending oneself against danger and evil doers. Even Jesus talked to the disciples about selling their cloaks to purchase knives. As long as the defense is sensible and solemn.

I also wondered about the end of life and DNR (do not resuscitate). Doctors make mistakes all the time. This is not an easy issue to deal with and I have been told that every case or situation is different and needs to be looked at individually. I know a person should not be given the choice to end a life but there are so many issues to consider. As Christians, we must remember that life is precious. When a decision needs to be made, we must err on the side of protecting life but this is so difficult. When, we as humans are given the power of deciding to end a life, how far is acceptable before it becomes unacceptable? I know, for myself, I have told my family that if something happens to me and there is no hope for my recovery, I would like for them to take away the machines that are keeping me alive. I would wonder if I am present in my human body, at that point?

Another question I have is what about the death penalty. I know that in the Old Testament, God demanded the death penalty for many crimes, such as murder, kidnapping, bestiality, adultery, homosexuality, being a false prophet, prostitution and rape, and several other crimes (I did not know about some of these). Both God and Jesus did show mercy when capital punishment was due. However, the death penalty is acceptable in God’s eyes, especially when murder is committed.

I know I have raised issues with this blog. These are all my opinions, my thoughts. I am a Christian but this has made me seriously think about the meaning of being a Christian. I do not attend a church because, both my husband and myself, have been turned off by churches on the whole. Too many churches have let themselves become so large that I wonder how anyone can connect with others or the pastor. Too many times, it feels like churches do their best to accommodate people and make them feel good. The Bible has been twisted to accommodate what people want.

Yes, Jesus revolutionized a lot of rules from the Old Testament but He was serious about keeping the laws of God.  He did not sway from the laws. He upheld them. Instead of telling someone they were wrong, He loved them and showed them what it meant to submit to the will of God. That is what we need to do. Submit to God’s will. It is not giving in. It is giving your heart to a God of love and compassion and grace. He will never leave you even if you are uncertain.

 

 

The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments are also known as the Decalogue. From what I remember in the Bible, they are rules God gave to Moses and they were printed on stone tablets. Moses was supposed to deliver these commandments to the Israelites when he left Mount Sinai. I also seem to remember that when Moses came down from the mountain, he threw the stone tablets to the ground and broke them because the people had gotten out of control, bored and, quite honestly, stupid by making themselves idols. Honestly!

I didn’t know the ten commandments were also known as the decalogue. So I looked up the definition of decalogue and found “In decalogue the root deca- is combined with logos, Greek for “word”. In the Biblical book of Exodus, the original Decalogue, or Ten Commandments, was handed to Moses by God atop Mount Sinai.” We know that the ten commandments were found in the books of Exodus and in Deuteronomy.

I belong to a number of different Christian groups like Christian Readers and the Christian Theological/Philosophical Book Club  on Goodreads. There are a number of discussions going on led by very well read, intelligent people who discuss a great number of issues.  The discussions that these people have are way beyond what I know from the bible. But I love to read the discussions. One of the topics was on the ten commandments and are you living them or can you live them.

When I researched articles on the ten commandments, the first thing I found that was interesting, was the concept that most people think that everything starts fresh in the New Testament. But that can’t be right. Since Jesus was a Jew and the apostles were all Jews, then one would have to assume that all the old traditions and habits would continue. It was the translators who divided the Old Testament from the New Testament (and this was not something that I knew). So one would have to assume that everything from the Old Testament would carry through into the New Testament. There is nothing in the New Testament that says the commandments are no longer valid or that even one of the commandments are no longer valid.

If you look closely at the New Testament, you will find the ten commandments in various verses and books. The ten commandments are not listed all together in one book, as in the Old Testament, but they are spread around throughout many books. Jesus reminds us that He did not come to destroy the law or the prophets but He came to fulfill the laws.

The commandments were made by a God who loves us beyond what we can ever imagine. He knows us. He knows how stubborn, silly, out of control and just plain stupid we can be. We think we can govern ourselves and control our destinies. But that just isn’t true. God knows exactly His plans for us. And we should be comforted by that.

The ten commandments are pretty awesome. I noticed quite a few blogs from people who have explained the commandments in simple terms. I think I will read up on those blogs and go through each commandment on my blog. I hope I will raise different perspectives and get people to think about the ten commandments. God never intended for us to forget about the commandments. They should be a part of our daily lives if we truly believe ourselves to be Christians.