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Rembrandt ~ The Ten Commandments

Rembrandt [Public domain], via Wikimedia Common


Are you familiar with The Ten Commandments?  It’s remarkable that right actions toward God and man can be summed up into ten rules or commandments.

The word epic* comes to mind when speaking of The Ten Commandments. Everything about them is epic.

  1. They were given in an epic way.  The Ten Commandments were given at Mt. Sinai immediately after the exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt. Moses was God’s chosen servant/leader to receive The Ten Commandments so Moses is aptly referred to as ‘the law giver’.
  2. The very words are epic in their simplicity, yet significance.  The Ten Commandments were given by God and can be divided into two parts.  The first four relate to a right relationship between man and God, while the last six focus on our relationship with our fellowman.
  3. Their ability to convict us is epic.  While we may have never been arrested for committing a crime or we may have never been sentenced by an earthly court of law, we have all fallen short of God’s standard. (Romans 3:23)

Bible Reading: Exodus 20:1-17, Matthew 22:35-40

The Ten Commandments

  1. You shall have no other gods before me.
  2. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them.
  3. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.
  5. Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

Discussion

  1. What images or lifestyles are we tempted to worship in our societies today?
  2. If you could choose one commandment, which one would you say is the most important or the greatest?  This is Jesus’ answer to this question:

One day a man who was an expert in The Ten Commandments asked Jesus a thought-provoking question, “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  Jesus’ answer may surprise you. Instead of choosing one commandment, Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Matthew 22:35-40

Word List
*EPIC is used to describe poems that are lengthy; however, it also means something that is of grand scope. Any task of great magnitude may be called “epic.” Something that is large or impressive.  Example:  The Grand Canyon is a natural sculpture of grandeur and epic proportions.
exodus – to leave an area; also the name of the second book of the Bible
aptly – to be appropriate
covet – to wish for something that belongs to someone else
tempted – to be drawn to something or to look at something which causes us to sin
thought-provoking – causing careful consideration
heart – can mean the center of your emotion
soul – your spiritual heart

To learn more: 
Read Matthew 5:17-28 about the difference between the “spirit of the law” and the “letter of the law”.

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