Devotion for the week of 3/10/14-3/16/14
Exodus 20:3-17 is where God lays out the ten commandments for us. A lot has changed since then, but these commandments still remain and they are still just as important as they were then. Some of them are a little difficult to understand, or maybe they just seem like they don’t make sense in this time. However, God intended for these commandments to be simple to know, and simple to remember. Even though they aren’t always simple to follow. The first commandment is that we should have no other gods before God. That means that God should be our one and only. We shouldn’t worship God and another god. God says that He is a jealous God in the sense that He does not like it when we worship another god, too. The second commandment is that we should have no idols. That means that there should be nothing and nobody that we love more than God. So we shouldn’t have statues that we worship, and we also shouldn’t have humans that we worship. The third commandment is that we should not take the Lord’s name in vain. That means we shouldn’t say things like ‘Oh, my God!’ I know that for most people it’s something they are used to saying and they don’t mean any harm or disrespect to come from it but, remember, saying things like that is a direct violation of the third commandment. The fourth commandment is to remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. The Sabbath day is Sunday. So every Sunday we are to rest just as God rested on the seventh day. That’s a commandment that we should be happy to obey! The fifth commandment is one most of us know and most of us don’t like: honor your mother and father. Let me tell you, it’s not always easy. But that is what God asks us to do, and He asks us to do it because He knows it’s for our own good. The sixth commandment is that we shouldn’t murder. That’s pretty straightforward. In my opinion, that’s the easiest commandment to obey. Lots of people go their whole lives without murdering someone. God does not condone violence of any kind, especially not murder. The seventh commandment is that we shouldn’t commit adultery. That typically means that, if you are married, you should not cheat on your spouse. However, in Matthew 5:28, Jesus says that just looking lustfully at someone is committing adultery with them in your heart. The eighth commandment is that we shouldn’t steal. That’s pretty understandable. The ninth commandment is that you should not bear false testimony against your neighbor. Put simply, don’t lie or spread rumors. Finally, the tenth commandment is that we should not covet. Which means that we should not want what belongs to another person; we should not be jealous of what another person has. That could be something as simple as not being jealous of all the things they have that you don’t have, or something as big as coveting their spouse or their boyfriend/girlfriend. Overall the ten commandments are a list of things we should or shouldn’t do. God purposefully worded them simply so that we wouldn’t be confused by them. And He knows we aren’t perfect. He knows that, throughout our lifetime, Christians will probably disobey most of the ten commandments. But He will forgive us and He will continue to love us. He just gives us these commandments to help make us better Christians, better people in general, so that we can live a better life. They are there to help us and guide us. And God is there, too.