The Ten Commandments

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the Law, rather through the law we become conscious of sin. (Rom 3:20)

And the Lord said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes and be ready by the third day because on that day the Lord will come down on Mt. Sinai in the sight of all the people” On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning with a thick cloud over the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mt. Sinai was covered with smoke because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace and the whole mountain trembled violently and the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder. Then Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him. (Exodus 19:10-11 and 16-19)

In the following verses God gave the children of Israel His Ten Commandments (not suggestions), basic laws that were later expanded into a total of 613 in the Torah (5 Books of Moses). I have previously shared my view that the giving of the Commandments was part 2 of God’s four part rebuttal to an accusation Satan had hurled at Him before the beginning of time (read ) and have also noted the incredible similarity between the details surrounding the giving of the law and the Rapture of the Church (read ).

When asked which were the greatest of all these laws, Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Deut 6:5). This is the first and greatest commandment and the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself (Lev 19:18). All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt 22:37-40). The phrase Law and Prophets referred to the entire Old Testament, but those two commandments particularly summarize the ten given at Mt. Sinai. The first four define how we should love the Lord our God (four is the number of Creation), and the last six how we demonstrate love for each other (six is the number of man).

God Is The Same, Yesterday, Today, And Forever (Hebr 13:8)

Although He required the Israelites to obey His commandments, the Bible has said all along that they were given to expose the motives of man’s heart and show the need for a Savior. God’s standard is simply too high for sinful man to achieve. The Old Testament sacrifice of innocent animals pointed to this coming Savior whose Blood alone would purchase their pardon and was meant to confirm their need for Him. The Lord Jesus made this abundantly clear in His Sermon on the Mount when He explained that even thinking about violating the law is tantamount to doing so. He also made it clear that He hadn’t come to abolish the law but rather to fulfill it (Matt 5:17-18). God’s laws are still in force, we are still subject to them, and Jesus is the ransom for our souls as well as theirs.

Through out the Old Testament the true purpose of the law is explained. The prophet Micah asked, ‘With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with 1000s of rams, with 10,000 rivers of oil? Shall I offer my first born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” (Micah 6:6-7) The Lord had Micah give this answer. “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy and walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).” Only by loving the Lord with all their heart and soul and mind and then loving their neighbors as themselves could they hope to accomplish this and no amount of external compliance with the law could suffice in its absence.

King David, after committing adultery with Bathsheba and causing the death of her husband, prayed, “Have mercy on me O God according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. You do not delight in sacrifice or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken spirit and a contrite heart O God You will not despise.” (Psalm 51: 1-2 and 16-17). David admitted that he had broken the law. But he knew that with sincerity and humility he could ask for and receive forgiveness, and that God would prefer this to an empty gesture of sacrifice. The prophet Nathan later explained to David that he could be forgiven in Heaven but that didn’t necessarily relieve him of the earthly consequences of his behavior (2 Sam 12:1-12). (Those who run around saying, “I’m under grace not the law” would do well to remember this)

Everything That Was Written The Past Was Written To Teach Us (Rom 15:4).

The children of Israel had promised to do “everything the Lord has said” (Ex 19:8). Yet before Moses could get down off the mountain with the 10 commandments they had broken most of them. Centuries later Paul admonished us, “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the Law, rather through the law we become conscious of sin.” (Rom 3:20). Just as a speed limit sign lets us compare our speed with the legal limit, the Commandments let us compare our behavior with God’s requirements. When we’re exceeding the speed limit the sign prompts us to slow down. When we’re not meeting God’s requirements the Law prompts us to seek forgiveness.

Now you know the adult version.