For Our Good
"And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day." Deuteronomy 6:24 (ESV)
When you look at the 10 Commandments, which one of them seems like a bad idea? Which one of these, if you really think about them, would make our society worse if everyone followed them?
Let's look at each commandment briefly and see which would harm or hurt us and harm or hurt others if followed?
1. Have no other God's instead of Me. He didn't say don't love anyone else; He said don't worship (devote yourself to...) anyone else or anything else. This is because we were made to be fully alive only in a relationship with God as our first love.
2. Do not make an idol. This means don't try and create a God (who or what you live for) out of created things. All things created, including people are temporary, decaying, and unreliable. Teams will lose, people will be selfish and hurt you, and goals will not be met (you will let yourself down). The only one who will always be faithful to you and do what's best for you is God, whether you understand or not.
3. Don't misuse God's name. Don't use God for your own purposes. Don't interject him into your life and conversation when it works for you. Like a presidential candidate who has no relationship with God, but says at the end of his speech, "God bless America," knowing it will get him votes. When do you do this?
4. Keep a day of rest. Don't think life is all about you and that you are the only one looking out for you. God wants us to rest because He is the one who is always at work on our behalf. We don't have to look out for ourselves all the time, because the one who loves us promises to take care of us.
5. Honor your parents. There are exceptions, but most parents rarely give their children advice that will hurt them. Parents are motivated by love and though not perfect, provide advice, direction, and discipline from a motivation of love. Trust your parents love for you.
6-10. Do not kill, cheat on a spouse, steal, lie, and covet (not being content and treating your needs and desires greater than the needs and desires of other people). All of these commandments place the needs of others before ourselves and provide all humanity with dignity and value. No one would want someone to lie to them or steal from them. God loves all of us equally and all of us are made in His image. Because of this truth, your neighbor (which is everyone - Luke 10:36-37 ) is valuable and matters too.
Jesus summed up these commandments by saying, "You shall love the Lord your 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 all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37).
Like Moses told the Israelites, God's commandments are, "for our good always."
Lord Jesus, I acknowledge that your commandments are for my good "Always." Thank you that you have given me your Holy Spirit who gives me the ability to love and worship You with all my heart and to love my neighbor as myself. Amen