#2 – Summing up the Ten Commandments

“Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” Exodus 20: 18-19.

No kidding. I would be afraid too. God told Moses that the people weren’t even allowed to touch the base of the mountain or they would be put to death. The people told Moses that he would have to tell them everything God was telling Moses. They wanted him to be the go between or the mediator. I think this is what God wanted.  Could you imagine everyone up on the mountain, listening to God? There would be questions, people wanting to eat or drink, people needing to use the facilities, interruptions galore. I could just see the mayhem now. There is at least one or two people who just can’t sit still.

God came down to the top of the mountain in fire and smoke and clouds. That would be pretty intimidating. (Also, answers my question about is heaven really up there? The Bible definitely says God came down to the top of the mountain.) I also would wonder about God’s voice. What did it sound like? Moses was lucky enough to hear it. He also knew the rules and knew what God expected from him. A few other people got to go up the mountain but they were only at God’s invitation. It was all respected.

However, the people definitely did tell Moses to be their mediator. They weren’t going to take any chances. God said that no one could even touch the base of the mountain or they would be put to death by stoning or arrows. I can’t imagine either one of those being a fast or easy death. Not unless someone had a really good arm and could make the first blow or arrow the fatal one. Moses was willing and he became their mediator. The ten commandments were the first set of laws for the Israelites.

The ten commandments are still relevant to everyone today. In my previous blog, I said that we are all sinful and that keeping the ten commandments is difficult. Probably next to impossible. It isn’t just keeping the commandment. It is everything leading up to the commandment. All your thoughts and actions before the final act of disobeying the commandment.

We don’t have Moses today to be our mediator but we have someone that is the best mediator of all time. Jesus. We are so lucky to have Jesus on our side. He was on earth in human form. He knew exactly what it was like for us. He walked with us, beside us. Talked to us. Had all the same things happen to him physically (and more) that we are dealing with. It doesn’t mean that we are home free. We can’t just keep sinning and think, oh well. It’s okay. I’ve got Jesus on my side. It’s just too hard to keep obeying these commandments and doing the right thing. I’ll just do what I can and then at the end, beg for forgiveness and Jesus will give me a free pass.

I don’t think that is how it is going to work. I think at the end of your life, you will be held accountable for everything you did. I know at the end of my life, I will be asking for forgiveness. I will probably ask God that He spare all the people I love. A lot of people believe that at the end times, Christians will be taken up to heaven. I will be that person who tells God, I can’t go. I need to stay behind and make sure everyone I love is saved. Well, this is for another topic.

The ten commandments apply very much today. We all need to look them over and think about them with deep honesty. With our whole heart. We need to say, oh my! These commandments are difficult but I will honestly try. When I mess up, I need to ask for forgiveness. We are all so lucky that we have Jesus looking out for us. There is peace in that.

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.

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.