There was a time when the Ten Commandments influenced and provided a religious foundation for many of us. If you went to worship, Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, etc., you were going to hear something relative to the Ten Commandments. You may have been asked to memorize them. They were also posted in court rooms, homes, churches, schools and other public establishments. If you pay close attention today to the above-mentioned places, you will rarely or ever see the Ten Commandments posted. The Ten Commandments was considered to be our guiding light, so much so that it had more value and worth than man’s laws. We were guided and taught that if we obeyed these moral laws found in the Bible, we would be adhering to the laws of the Land. It was a time when God’s laws had a great influence over man’s laws. O how things have changed. Adhering and obeying the Ten Commandments are no longer common practice for members of society.
There is a recent news article in The Clarion Ledger about Civil rights icon James Meredith. In the article it states that James Meredith is now urging people to fight crime by obeying the Ten Commandments. Some of us may remember James Meredith who was escorted by federal marshals as he enrolled as the first Black student to attend the University of Mississippi in 1962.
Just imagine if every institution, every household and both political parties took the Ten Commandments to heart. Many of the crimes we are experiencing today would wane.
The reason I write this message is because we have increasingly broken and violated every one of the Ten Commandments in every regard. I recently was in a Safeway Grocery Store late one night when a customer had a basket running over with food. Rather than going to the cashier, he went barreling out the front door. Let me answer the question in the back of our minds: Did I intervene and attempt to stop him? My question to you is, “Are you crazy?” What was interesting a few days later when I revisited the store was when I asked the manager if they had problems with people stealing grocery. His nonchalant reply was, “It happens all the time.” That was enough of an explanation for me.
We often hear it stated that when prayer was taken out of schools, the entire nation began to deteriorate morally. Whether that statement is true or false will never be determined. If it were possible to teach the Ten Commandments at an early age and encourage everyone to pray, it just may have some positive impact on the generations to follow us.
Let’s take a look at why God wrote the 10 Commandments. God handed down the Ten Commandments as a code of moral laws to help free humanity from the propensity to sin and help each of us lead our best lives. The Ten Commandments were written in stone by the finger of God and were collectively meant to show the Israelites God’s standard of holiness. They are a summary of the hundreds of laws found in the Old Testament Law and offer basic rules of behavior for spiritual and moral living. God wrote them to enlighten us as to who He is, what He is like and to the nature of our own hearts. (Microsoft Bing)
James 2:10 says, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.”
This world would be a much better place to live if we could embrace and live out Matthew 22:37-40: And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord our God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the Law and the Prophets.”
Just as a reminder, please find the set of biblical principles, Ten Commandments, relating to ethics and worship below:
- You shall have no other gods before me
- You shall make no idols
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
- Keep the Sabbath day holy
- Honor your father and mother
- You shall not murder
- You shall not commit adultery
- You shall not steal
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, wife or property
The listing of the Ten Commandments can be found in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. Share them with family and friends. They may make a difference in someone’s life.
Just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor