We’ve been moving away from our usual breakfast bible study over the last couple of weeks to work through the 10 Commandments. My husband had asked me to start working with them on it a few months ago, but I was never able to find a good break to fit it in.
So when we wrapped up one of our sections in Pearables, I decided it was the perfect time to jump in for teaching the 10 commandments. At first I had grand plans to teach them using all kinds of hands on activities, maybe 2 commandments a week, learn some songs, do some crafts, etc.
I book marked a TON of sites with loads of information on it, and started making a list. I still am really terrible at planning in advance, so of course, the day I wanted to start, I hadn’t pulled together many things other than a book we borrowed from our church library.
So I decided to jump in anyway and give it a go. And while I wish I had put more planning and thought into the execution, God has really been using it over the last few weeks in our lives.
You see, I thought knowing the 10 commandments would be important and imperative to my children’s biblical studies. After all, I still didn’t know them all, and there was no way I wanted them to be like me at nearly 30 and not knowing all the commandments of God!
But the more we worked through them, the more I saw them in a different light.
1. You shall have no other gods before me. What’s a god? Anything in my life that takes the place of THE ONE TRUE GOD. Internet, television, shopping, money (and that includes not tithing!), even family and church. Anything that I put before God can become a god.
2. You shall not make for yourself an idol of any kind. What’s an idol? Again, anything that receives our worship BEFORE GOD. Anything that takes away my time, attention, focus, faith, off of the one who made me and created me to worship HIM.
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Ok, that’s not difficult. Or is it? Do I respect the name of the Lord? Do I teach my children to respect Him in the way they pray, behave during our devotion times, treat their elders, obey and honour their parents?
4. Honour the Sabbath Day and keep it holy. This one has been tough. It’s easy to get wrapped up in doing the normal stuff on a Sunday, when we are told to take a break! For our own good, and for the reason of #s 1 and 2 – to keep our focus on GOD.
5. Honour your father and your mother. We’ve been struggling with this the last little while. My husband and I that is. Being consistent in disciplining for rebellious (whether it’s outright or subtle) attitudes, disobedience and defiance ALL THE TIME is tough. But we are commanded to train up our children, to teach them to honour us, AND TO DO IT IN LOVE.
6. You shall not murder. That doesn’t just mean an actual murdering of someone. It also means committing it in your heart – in hatred, and refusal to forgive someone who has wronged you. How can I withhold forgiveness, or hold a grudge against someone, when God has forgiven me of so much?
7. You shall not commit adultery. That means in body, mind, spirit or eyes. What are you watching? What are you pouring into yourself? Is it godly, honouring to God and your spouse?
8. You shall not steal. Time for some honesty here. I was a thief. I’ve had to go back to some people and make things right with them over things I’d stolen back when I was an early teenager. Little or big, stealing is stealing, and ultimately a sin against God, saying you are not content or happy with what he has blessed you with.
9. You shall not lie. This is still something I struggle with – a lot. The heart is deceitful and desperately sick. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9) It’s so easy for me to slip into a “little white lie” or half-truth, or to leave information out. It doesn’t have to be in-your-face falsehoods, but only telling part of the truth is still lying.
10. You shall not covet what your neighbour has. One final smack upside the head. GUILTY AS CHARGED. There have been plenty of times I want what other people have, wish that what is happening to them would happen to me (has everyone seen the coke can gifts from Jesus video?), whine and complain or fear when it doesn’t. Again, a direct sin against God – not being grateful for the gifts he has given to me, not finding joy in what he has blessed me with, not being content with how awesome he is and his great love.
So in light of all of this, it’s a pretty hopeless situation. Hopeless, that is, if I’m relying on my knowledge of the commandments, my “goodness” and my ability to get through stuff.
Thank the LORD this is not where it ends! Each time we looked at one of these commandments, it was an amazing opportunity to point my children to CHRIST.
In Christ alone my hope is found! He alone can rescue, he alone can save. He is my righteousness, the only one who can completely ERASE my sins. Because of his death on the cross, my chains are gone, I’ve been set free – my God my Saviour has ransomed me!
When you look at the commandments of God, are you discouraged at your inability to do, pretty well anything, he has commanded you to do? Do not fear or despair!
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
(Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV)
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
(1 Corinthians 15:3-4 ESV)
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(Romans 5:8 ESV)
God’s commandments exist to show us how utterly incapable we are of keeping them and of saving ourselves. He created them to expose our hearts and to point us to the only one who can save us – Christ. In Him alone will I put my trust.