“Part of my heart is in _______.” Fill in the blank with the name of a place where you lived, a place that continues to have an impact on your life. Where your heart is includes not just places you have lived, but also shows what is central to your life, as the 10th Commandment, Exodus 20:17, makes clear.
Don’t defraud. It is not wrong to desire things. God pronounced his creation very good as he entrusted it to Adam and Eve to use to this glory. Sin does not lie in things or wealth. The sin begins when you desire what is your neighbor’s.Today your neighbor may not have a donkey or ox to covet, but the Jaguar or Viper on his driveway may tempt you to break this commandment! The idea that desire in itself is wrong has much more to do with Buddhism (liberty is found in the death of desire), than it does with Biblical Christianity. The world is God’s creation. He has entrusted it to you as his steward. To use and subdue it is a God-glorifying activity. Enjoying the good things God has made can glorify him. Abraham was a very godly man—who was very rich. Desiring wealth can be good, as long as that desire is bound by God’s law, Proverbs 30:8,9; 1 Timothy 5:8; 6:17. Continue reading
Have you ever had to give testimony under oath? You made a solemn promise, you affirmed that you would tell the truth. That is the setting of the 9th Commandment, Exodus 20:16.
Do not lie. Do justice. God’s law outlines basic principles of justice: judges and public trials were established, Deuteronomy 16:18. Justice was not to be swayed by outside considerations, Exodus 23:1-9. The duty of witnesses was important. There were to be a plurality of witnesses, and they were to be participants in the judgment. Maliciously false witnesses were to be punished. True witness is impossible without the fear of God. Nothing but the truth must be spoken in testimony. Justice needs God’s law, 2 Chronicles 19:6,7. In an age when the name of God has become an expletive, is it any wonder that the truthfulness, even of sworn testimony, is often in doubt? Continue reading
How do you relate to money and things in the world around you? Do you own things, or do they own you? Exodus 20:15 commands you not to steal, but behind that commandment lies a way of looking at yourself, those around you, the world, and, above all, God.
God has given you dominion. God has delegated authority. He alone is sovereign, Exodus 9:29; Psalm 50:9-12. He made you in his image. Therefore you have dominion, Genesis 1:26-28. Though dominion is abused, God has still given you the world to use. You hold the office of king, serving the King of kings. That puts perspective even on what seems to be mundane work. Salvation in Christ restores the image and the proper use of dominion. God’s delegated authority includes that which he has given to the state to prevent and punish theft. The protection of property is part of its God-given function. The sin of theft (and the greed from which it arises) reverses roles, and makes you controlled by things. Continue reading
We may think of our culture as saturated with temptation—but Israel entering the promised land, faced a similar situation. Exodus 20:14 was part of what God equipped his people with to encourage them to be faithful to him.
Be aware of the danger around you. Listen as God’s Word speaks to your life. You may be told that God’s standards are “old-fashioned.” “Everybody is doing it today.” Don’t believe it! It is not that the Bible needs to be made relevant. Rather, we need to listen to what it has been saying all along. Note how God’s Word transcends cultural and temporal barriers, 1 Corinthians 10:8-13. Like Israel in Joshua’s day you live in a culture that often seems obsessed with sex. Like Israel you need to learn to live pure, clean lives in an X-rated generation. Continue reading
We live in a country that allows the taking of lives of unborn children whose existence is inconvenient. Our state allows physician assisted suicide, and our legislature is considering loosening restrictions on the practice. We are involved in wars that have taken thousands of lives of those serving in our armed forces as well as many more in other countries. What does the Sixth Commandment, Exodus 20:13 say about this? How do God’s instructions after the flood (Genesis 6) underline the sacredness of human life? And what does Jesus tell you about this commandment (Matthew 5:21ff.)? Continue reading