THE 10 COMMANDMENTS
In giving Israel the 10 Commandments, God simply and succintly defines how this nation is to respect and honor Him and treat other people. The 10 Commandments are also a reflection of God’s moral character. They give us insight into who He is and what it means to be holy.
God speaks these words from the top of Mt. Sinai. This is such an important message that God delivers it directly to the people as they are assembled at the bottom of the mountain…
Then God gave the people all these instructions:
4 “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. 5 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. 6 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.
8 “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10 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. 11 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.
18 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.
To Think About…
The nation of Israel was overwhelmed with being so close to God. They were overcome with fear. They could not handle hearing God speak.
Yet, in verse 20, Moses tells them why it is so important that God Himself directly give them these commands… so they would have a fear of God that would keep them from sinning.
Which do you think is a greater motivator, love or fear?
Do you think that we might need both to remain steadfast in pursuing holiness and turning from sin?
Can you think of some ways we can daily keep our love of God and our fear of God at optimal levels?