It may seem strange to say, but I love the Ten Commandments. I’m not talking about Charlton Heston’s flowing white beard or the plaque on the wall next to the Bill of Rights.
I don’t say I love the Ten Commandments because they are a list of “don’ts.” I say I love them because they are boundaries of protection and provision for God’s glory and my good. The reason God tells us not do certain things is that we are prone to want to do them. Each of the commandments reveals a deeper heart issue that I need to be saved from.
The Ten Commandments ultimately are calls to know God and trust His provision.
1. YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BESIDES ME. Know the true God. He has made Himself knowable and known.
2. YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FOR YOURSELF A GRAVEN IMAGE AND BOW DOWN TO IT. I am tempted to worship the created rather than the Creator. I worship the means and not the end. Don’t settle for a counterfeit. God has given us the real deal.
3. YOU SHALL NOT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD YOUR GOD IN VAIN. Don’t cheapen God. God’s name evokes His power, personhood, and provision. Those are weighty, lovely things and should be treated as such.
4. REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY, TO KEEP IT HOLY. You and I are not God. Don’t try to be. Rest in who God is and what only He can provide. It is enough.
5. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER. Our hearts kick against authority and embrace pride. Don’t think of ourselves more highly than we should.
6. YOU SHALL NOT MURDER. Murder reveals hatred in the heart.
7. YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY. Adultery comes from wanting to provide for ourselves beyond what God has provided. It means breaking covenants, which cheapens them. We trust our lusts or emotions beyond God’s revealed truth.
8. YOU SHALL NOT STEAL. Have satisfaction in God’s provision.
9. YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS AGAINST YOUR NEIGHBOR. Lies are our way of providing for ourselves what we believe the truth will not give.
10. YOU SHALL NOT COVET. Have gratitude in God’s provision.
As I consider the deeper meanings of these commandments and what they reveal, they show I have a heart that wants to question God and provide for myself. This is true in salvation as well.
Each of these commandments force me to ask the question: am I God or is God God?
Do I create and sustain or does he? Do I save or does he? Do I trust Him or myself?
These are the basic questions of sin. God has provided salvation through Christ. He has proven He is enough and calls us to trust that. He calls us to trust Him. He has given us Himself. There is no greater love.