READ: Deuteronomy 5
THINK: This chapter feels pretty similar to Exodus 20 because, well, it is. It gives us a look at Moses walking through the 10 Commandments with the nation of Israel. And what I want all of us to see today is something that maybe we’ve never seen in the 10 Commandments before. See, I think that it’s really easy to get caught up in believing that it’s just a list – a really important list – of things to do or not do. And the truth is we don’t just believe this about the 10 Commandments. Sometimes we think it about the Bible in general – that’s it’s a book filled with giant lists of things that God wants us to do or wants us to avoid doing.
But that’s not the point of his commands! And it totally misses the heart of the 10 Commandments. These commandments are not a series of rules. They are a proclamation, from God’s own mouth, about who God is. They are an incredibly intimate picture that he offers us of himself. And, pragmatically, they are a description of how God – and the God-image in us – ought to be practiced within the context of human community.
Take time as you read these to think about what it means, for each commandment. Take time to consider that each is a statement about who God is, and by extension who we were created to be and how we were created to live. And think about how that changes our motivation to obey.
You shall have no other Gods before me. God is sovereign.
You shall not make for yourself an image. God is distinct.
You shall not misuse the name of the LORD. God is knowable.
Observe the Sabbath by keeping it holy. God is shalom.*
Honor your father and mother. God is relational.
You shall not murder. God is life-giving.
You shall not commit adultery. God is faithful.
You shall not steal. God is content.
You shall not give false testimony. God is truthful.
You shall not covet. God is sufficient.
PRAY: Thank God for who he is. Ask him to help you not to fall into the trap of treating faith and Christianity as a to-do (or to-don’t) list. Ask him to help you do a better job of how to live out who he is and who he created you to be.
*Shalom is a word in the Old Testament that we often translate “peace” because English has no cognate. It is actually a bigger concept that includes full physical, emotional, economic, and spiritual flourishing. It is a situation of holistic completeness where nothing is missing and nothing is broken.