The 10 Commandments are really valuable and helpful. Did I say valuable, I meant essential! The 10 C’s are guaranteed to extend your life – protect your life – enhance your life – live your life to the full. In our messed up society today, this is a message we need to not only speak but live and show evidence for. The 10 C’s are good for your health.
Moses had led the people out of slavery in Egypt and was headed for the Promised Land (eventually). The people camped at Mount Sinai. This is where Israel heard God speak the 10 Commandments through Moses (Exodus 20.7) and where Moses received the tablets, the Law (Exodus 31.18 and 34).
THE 10 COMMANDMENTS – EXODUS 20 AND 34
In Exodus 32.15+ we find that Moses has come down from Mt Sinai after God gave Moses the 10 Commandments (Exodus 20) and then continued to give Moses laws that Israel has to obey.
As Moses came down the hill, he found that the Israelites had built a calf as a false god. Such was his righteous anger that in verse 19, we find that Moses actually threw down and smashed the tablets with the 10 C’s written on. He then burned the calf. That day, with the Levites standing with Moses for the Lord against anarchy in the camp, 3000 were killed.
Then Moses told the people they’d sinned and he prayed to the Lord, as God was all for killing the people for their sin and disobedience. God sent a sickness to the people. Then Moses went and interceded with the Lord who sent his glory (incidentally, our ‘tongue’ is related to our ‘glory’ in the NT, showing the importance of words). Then in Ex 34, God had Moses carve out new commandments. Again, we see the importance of intercession as a ministry – that is, standing to intercede between God and our nations, on behalf of our nations.
In the New Testament, we see an amazing parallel with what happened here. On this, the first ‘pentecost’, where the law was given, 3000 died. If we flip to Acts 2.41, we find that after the second ‘pentecost’ where the Spirit was given, 3000 were added..
In answer to your question, both are the 10 C’s. However, only Exodus 20 lists the actual 10 C’s (in Exodus that is). God, working with Moses replaces the 10 C’s as God’s glory came down in a cloud (Exodus 34.1-9). Note how God uses us, though he does not need to.
Exodus 34.12-26 are not commandments. Rather, God is going on to give Moses more of the law (as he did after giving the 10 C’s in Exodus 20). These are the law, but not the 10 C’s. In fact ‘the law’ had something over 600 ‘laws’ to obey.
Today, we’re under a new ‘law’ which I’d rather be under – but maybe a more tricky one in some ways. Instead of obeying ‘laws’, Jesus challenges not just our actions but our inner-self and thoughts. So not only is adultery wrong, but looking at women in a lustful way is also sinful.
Thank God for Jesus!
THE 10 C’s WERE PART OF GOD’S PLAN TO SAVE ISRAEL
The 10 Commandments were written on just one stone tablet and were more than a normal contract. They were a covenant written by God (and was binding, like a contract), but one which people could accept or reject. This covenant was the way in which the people of Israel could maintain their freedom and relationship with God – the standard that God expected of Israel in order to maintain that freedom. This is part of the standards God expects us to live by today too.
PROMISE FROM GOD
God didn’t give the people a series of ‘Thou Shalt Nots!’ but a series of promises and safeguards. ‘If you follow me you will worship God, you won’t misuse my name, you won’t worship idols.’ We’ve been given freedom by God – don’t throw it away by disobeying him! Just think about the problems caused by people not obeying the 10 C’s. Think of how the world would be if we did live by the 10 C’s, if we truly did love our neighbour as we love ourselves (Mt 22.37-39)
EXODUS 20.7 – DON’T MISUSE GOD’S NAME
In this talk, we’re going to focus on this commandment
WHAT IS MISUSE?
The Oxford Dictionary describes it as ‘to use wrong or incorrectly.’ It goes deeper than this though. Many people say, ‘Oh God’ or ‘Jesus Christ’ – even some Christians – and this is wrong.
However, misuse also includes:
– any wrong use of the Lord’s name
– any thoughtless swearing
– any use of God’s name to back up something false
– any attempt to try and get power over God
– any attempt to use God or his name for our purposes
Misuse also includes blasphemy:
– a verbal insult of God. In Leviticus 24.11-16 a blasphemer was stoned to death by God’s direct command
– contempt of God by your actions (Numbers 15.30-31, Acts 5.1-11?)
– trying to pretend you are like God (see Mark 2.7)
– giving God’s Word a bad name through your false teaching (2 Peter 2.1 – false teachers)
– slandering God’s Word by wrong behaviour (see Titus 2.1-5 esp v5)
– by speaking against God’s representatives. In Luke 10.10 Jesus said to his disciples, ‘He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects the one who sent me.’
WHY SHOULDN’T WE MISUSE GOD’S NAME?
Firstly, God’s Word (The Bible!) says we shouldn’t. Also God’s character is revealed in his name. Therefore, to abuse God’s name is to abuse the character of God. Yahweh, the Jewish word for God was considered so holy that scholars and people did not dare even speak the name. It means:
– he is the centre of all being
– he will always be
– he is self-existent
– he is alive and real
In Exodus 3.14 God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites, I am has sent me to you.’ To abuse God’s name is to abuse his power and presence and God’s name should be honoured and feared (see Psalm 24.12-14 or Isaiah 6). We should try not to praise God’s name with our lips when we are dishonouring him and denying his authority in our lives by breaking his commands and insulting him.
APPLY IT TO OUR LIVES
Don’t insult God. If someone came up and slagged off your best mate you’d want to have words with them at least wouldn’t you! When people slag off God by swearing explain to them who God is and that he’s a friend of yours. We should also avoid lying, gossip, slagging off people, swearing, not doing what we said we would and disrespecting God in any way.
WHAT WE SHOULD DO
Is to praise God with our words, actions and thoughts. God is love, truth, holy, righteous, kind, just, fun, exciting, creative, awesome.. We can worship God through praise, by respecting him, loving him, obeying him, using his name carefully, praying, reading the Bible. Trusting him, being truthful, preaching the Gospel and living lives pleasing to God.