Then God gave the people all these instructions:
“I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. “You must not have any other god but me.
“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those[b] who love me and obey my commands.
“You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.
“Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.
“Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
“You must not murder.
“You must not commit adultery.
“You must not steal.
“You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.
“You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.”
When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear. And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!” “Don’t be afraid,” Moses answered them, “for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!”
Devotion by Chris Shiver
After God gave these commandments to Moses the Hebrew people went about violating them big time quickly – they were human after all. In looking at this list and being fully honest I would have to say that there are only 2 of the commandments that I have absolutely kept during my life. I praise God, though that through the love of Jesus, when I realize I am going in the wrong direction, with repentance and recommitment to appropriate behavior, I will be forgiven and redirected to where I need to be.
I believe that God knows that each of us is not perfect, and does not demand that we be so, only that we be alert to when the Spirit is showing us when we are not treating others properly, and honestly do what we can to make it right. How else could we go on without being crushed by the weight of our sinful behavior, and how else could we identify and turn once more towards our proper goals?
Jesus, I pray that you will always help me to recognize when I have chosen to act in an unhealthy manner, or when I am hurting someone, and guide me with your love back to the right path. Amen.