There have been discussions about putting the 10 Commandments in public places. Those that are against it, say that the Government should not endorse Christian principles. They don’t realize that those Commandments are Jewish! There is no record of Him repeating them with a passion to anyone or any crowd! He was not into rules, but relationships. As a Christian myself, I don’t want the 10 Commandments in public places, I want something much, much stronger!
The Ten Commandments
- I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
- You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
- Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.
New King James Version, Exodus 20
Quite the set of rules to live by, which made the Hebrew people different from the people around them. God wanted their culture to stand out from the cultures around them, which did not have these kinds of rules to live by. What I find curious, is that people think these 10 Commandments are a Christian document. They are not, and Jesus even put them aside for the Jews of His day! They were written for the Hebrew people! Some Christian leaders add to the confusion by claiming they apply today to Christians!
Also, these Commandments tell people how to behave when the going gets tough. When in a difficult situation, there were to fall back on these rules to guide them. I think they were a great thing at the time.
The Nine Beatitudes
- Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
- Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
- Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
- Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
New King James Version, Matthew 5
These are also written to help us in difficult times. They don’t focus on our behaviors, they remind us that we win in the end. To use a sports analogy, we may be behind in the score right now, but there’s a strong rally coming and we win! The Bible shows us what the final score of the game will be at the end, so no need to worry about what’s happening!
Also, notice that these do NOT say “blessed will be the poor in spirit, etc. The blessing is NOT based on what WILL happen, it is based on what is happening now. The suffering is an indication of what is to come, which is something wonderful.
Our circumstances, situations, pain, hurts, disappointments, frustrations and more will disappear in the end. Those things will be overcome by the strength of God which is within us.
So, how do we share God’s love with those that don’t know about it? Do we push the Commandments on ourselves and them? Or do we remind ourselves and them of the Beatitudes? It doesn’t take a lot of thinking about, does it?
My God is a God of love, not rules. That’s the “Good News”!
Please comment and/or respond to what you heard inside of you as you read this! Let’s share!