Lent 16 - The Ten Commandments


 Exodus 20:1-17

Many people seem to think that God gave the Israelites the ten commandments because God is a strict teacher who just wants humans to follow rules, regardless of the outcome. 

If we read the ten commandments at face value today, we discover that none of them are really unfair or unrealistic to follow. Even the most devout atheists would agree that murder is wrong and you shouldn't try to steal your neighbour's wife.

If we consider what we learnt yesterday, that the message of the cross sounds foolish until we put it into practice and discover its true wisdom, we find a similar reality when it comes to the ten commandments. 

We can huff and puff about being legalistic and not enjoying being "rule-followers," but the truth of the matter is that this list of commandments that Moses passed on to the people of Israel many, many years ago is still extremely relevant to our lives today.

The ten commandments are not a set of rules that we are meant to follow religiously without understanding why they are there. But when we live lives guided by the Holy Spirit, we will realise that these commandments are helpful guidelines for our daily living.

There are severe consequences for breaking these commandments. Not as punishments from God, but consequences that are disruptive to human relations and justice in the world.

In a world that was ravaged with violence and immorality, the Israelites received the ten commandments for their own good, even though some of them seemed contrary to the ways of the world at the time. Although Christians are living under a new Covenant, these commandments are still relevant and important for us to adhere to today.

Prayer: Almighty God, Your Word is good. Your Law is good. We are sorry for the times when we have turned the 10 commandments into legal rules that need to be followed. But we acknowledge that there are valuable truths to learn from these commandments and there are severe consequences for ignoring them. Holy Spirit, help us to follow these commandments in order to bring life to the world around us. Amen

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