Today part of the passage is the Ten Commandments. Many of us can recite these, as we learned them while in Sunday School as kids...but sometimes being too familiar with something cause us to gloss over the content quickly. Today we take some time to look at a few key points from the Ten Commandments.
1) In chapter 5 vs 7- “You shall have no other gods before me.
The small "g" god can be almost anything in our lives that we focus on with greater attention than the one true God. When I wake up in the morning and set my priorities for the day...how often do I include God and service to him in those priorities. If I think of my conversation throughout the day, what percentage would be God focused vs the many other things we discuss- sports, politics, business, etc.For me, perhaps setting priorities first thing in the morning relative to worship / servant related goals, and then taking stock in the evening would certainly help me prioritize better.
2) In chapter 5 vs 8-
When we sin, we often think of it relative to the immediate impact it might have on us or our family. In reviewing this, failure to follow the command to only worship God would have far reaching impacts to the 3rd and 4th generations beyond the individual who did not obey. The consequences of sin are vast...beyond even the scope of what we can see today. Thinking in terms of the long term impact or failure to obey God, should give us pause and reflection before we act. The inverse of this is also true as God states he will show love to a thousand generations of those who love Him and keep his commands. Interesting to think about the long reaching impact of the choices and decisions I might make today.
3) In chapter 5 vs 16- “Honor your father and your mother, as the your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the your God is giving you.
When we learn this verse as children, we apply this by saying we should obey and respect our parents. So what about when we get older...how do we honor them? To me this involves respect and care for them as they age. If financial help, physical help, spiritual help, social help is required...we need to be there. When we speak with our siblings about our aging parents...we need to do so out of love, care and concern. Bringing forward to our children the strong traditions of faith and obedience to God that our parents taught and demonstrated are a key component of honoring our parents.
4) In chapter 5 vs 21-You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
If we think of advertising we are exposed to daily, the whole premise is based on creating a perception that if you could only obtain something different than what you have today (new car that your neighbor will envy, trendy clothes that make people turn and take notice, etc) will somehow change your life for the better. This essentially is the American dream and what provides motivation and drives people. Contentment is truly only something God can grant and if we keep our focus on God's gift to us- Eternal Life...anything else that the world has to offer pales in comparison. God has blessed us with so many things- focusing our attention on his work and praising / thanking him will leave little time to worry about what we might be missing out on.