List of the 10 Commandments from Exodus 20:3 ~ 17
(1)You shall have no other gods before Me.
This Commandment tells us that we are not to put anything before God. This would include the foreign gods that many worshipped in early bible times and may even happen today in some primitive cultures. For others especially in our modern culture, their god may be possessions, money, positions, other peoples, etc: In essence anything or anybody we place above our true God is putting other gods before Me. God is demanding that first of all, we give Him prominence.
(2)You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or 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 on 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.
Here describes the types of images that might be man made of stone, wood, precious metals and “you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.” No images of God, statues or other articles are to be bowed down to and worshiped. God cannot be captured in a picture or statue and God will not tolerate things which might replace Him as the object of worship.
(3)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.
Consider first that vain can mean empty, nothing, worthless, or for no good purpose. We can and should use God's divine name in way of reverence but we must not misuse it. We are to respect God’s name. Many use God’s name in vain daily as a swear word and for others, God's name may be used in a frivolous way such as saying 'Oh My God' or 'Thank God it's Friday' and using God's name in a way that does not give Him reverence. His name represents who He is, His power, His nature and His character. To take God’s name in vain is to discount His position and authority. The most obvious way to misuse His name is to blaspheme or curse the name of God, but as in Lev. 19:12 it forbids empty or false oaths: “You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the Lord”
(4)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.
There are some church denominations that have an incorrect interpretation of this command. When it was given, in the society of that time one worked every day. This commandment has protected workers from unscrupulous masters for centuries by giving workers time to rest and recuperate. The body was designed this way. The day of rest was originally Saturday. But the early Christians decided to use Sunday that corresponds to the gospels. Consider that Paul said that we shouldn’t judge each other over Sabbaths. It is good for us to take one day off per week.
(5)Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
Honor your father and mother; family is the foundation of society and very important. We are to cleave to our spouse and leave or father and mother, but that does not mean that we rare to stay connected to our parents and show them due respect, for who they are. We are to honor our parents through our life, so in turn our children will see and get the message. It is an important key to an orderly society.
(6)You shall not murder
Murder generally refers to people who take the law into their own hands and killing somenone. This commandment refers to our responsibility for the death of others; and would not include justifiable self protection. Consider that Jesus said that hate is the same a murder; so again we are talking about a heart issue. It is a rule for the individual. It does not specifically refer to capital punishment and war issues, these are dealt with elsewhere in the Bible.
(7)You shall not commit adultery.
This commandment refers to cheating on your spouse wheather physically or in your heart. Jesus carried this even further when He said in Matt. 5:28 “whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Looking at a woman with a lustful thought or intention is the same as the actual act of adultery.
(8)You shall not steal.
For this one we often think in terms of a criminal theft such as robbing a bank, stealing someones possessions or wealth, etc; but this also applies to those areas such as income tax returns, gambling, lotteries and expense accounts, stealing time from an employer, or just taking any little thing that does not belong to us. There are many areas and ways that we can steal, so we must not get hung up with the bigger theft ideas and try to justfy other areas.
(9)You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
When we are called to testify we are to be honest, and we are not to give false information against another person. This would also include stretching the truth to something that is not true. When we spread gossip, stories that we hear second hand and do not know if they are true; and slander about another; these all fall in the same area.
(10) "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."
We may covet things, position, money and people especially another man or woman's spouse. Coveting is putting the focus on what others have and what we don’t have. We see things every day that we want, but we must become satisfied with what we have and what the Lord has blessed us with.
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