At the start of the message on Sunday, David invited us to a Sunday challenge to list the 10 commandments.
One piece of general knowledge here: the 10 ‘commandments’ are never actually referred to as commandments in the Bible; their appropriate title is ‘the Decalogue’ – the 10 words.
Moses, the key leader for the Israelite people, would not get to see the promised land but he continued to encourage and speak into the lives of the second-generation exiles as they arrived, as their ancestors did, at the border to the promised land.
Our passage on Sunday (Deuteronomy chapter 5) noted the beginning of the second of Moses’ speeches, a refresh on the 10 words. A call to reconnect and recommit to our God, why?… because life makes so much more sense when we know who we are (created) and whose we are (Creator).
Out of this one verse is a rich instruction given to the Israelites and it is still relevant to us today in 2021: HEAR/LEARN/FOLLOW.
Our God, the one true God, is revealing His character in the 10 words. As David reminded us, they are based on who God is and on what God has done. How many other world religions come even close to that level of intimacy? None. Along with Knowing God by J.I. Packer, I would also recommend a personal favourite, The Knowledge of the Holy by A.W.Tozer.
David reminded us that LAW follows GRACE. The Israelites were a saved people, God heard their cry for help and through His grace and mercy had set them free. He had changed and transformed their lives and they were now His. These 10 words were to help them continue to live this gifted life.
A key misconception is to think that keeping the 10 words leads to salvation. The 10 words are a type of blueprint for those who know that salvation comes through God alone. Salvation is not a reward for obedience. Salvation is the reason for obedience.
Many non-believing people today see Christianity as a set of ancient do’s and don’ts that you must live by to get to heaven. Sadly, there is also a modern contingent of those who declare themselves to be Christ-followers that apply legalistic human conditions to being a part of the church, more akin to the Pharisees.
WE MUST HAVE A BIGGER THEOLOGY – we need to see the 10 words as a God-given guide for life that enables us to respond obediently to the amazing grace of God.
What part does Jesus play in this passage?
David showed us the parallels between the Old Testament and New Testament promises, how Jesus has set us free from the slavery to sin and given us access to an eternal promised land and a restored relationship with God. Jesus didn’t come to abolish the law of the Old Testament; he came to fulfil it and transform it with a simplified version in Matthew 22:37-40.
David reminded us that the heart of the matter, is the matter of the heart. if you don’t have the desire to love God and follow Him, then the 10 words will become meaningless. God wants us to have a heart bent towards Him and when that heart is transformed by grace there are two outcomes:
- Fear – of God is the beginning of understanding
- Obedience – if you love me, you will keep my commands
David closed (as he opened) with a challenge to us all.
Take time to:
- HEAR the 10
- LEARN the 10
- FOLLOW the 10