God revealed his law to the Israelites at Sinai. Through the law, they learned more about what God is like and how he expected his people to live. Godâ€™s law had three parts. The Ten Commandments were the first part, containing the absolutes of spiritual and moral life.
Once Moses and his people were at Sinai, the Lord descended upon the mountain at Sinai (Mount Sinai) and sent for Moses to come up the mountain to meet with him. The Lord warned Moses that no other people should try to force their way up to the mountain to see the Lord because they would perish. He also sent Moses to get his brother Aaron and bring him up to the mountain top with him. So, Moses went back down the mountain to warn the people to stay at the bottom of Mount Sinai and to get Aaron to go back to the mountain top with him.
At the top of Mount Sinai God spoke and gave Moses the Ten Commandments. They are:
You shall have no other Gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol.
You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
Honor your father and your mother.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not give false testimony.
You shall not covet.
At the foot of Mount Sinai God showed his people the true function and beauty of his laws. The commandments were designed to lead Israel to a life of practical holiness. In them, people could see the nature of God and his plan for how they should live. The commands and guidelines were intended to direct the community to meet the needs o each individual in a loving and responsible manner.
The Israelites had just come from Egypt, a land of many idols ad many gods. Because each god represented a different aspect of life, it was common to worship many gods in order to get the maximum number of blessings. When God told his people to worship and believe in him, it was not so hard for them because he was just one more god to add to the list. But when he said â€œYou shall have no other gods before meâ€, that was difficult for the people to accept. But if they did not learn that the God who led them out of Egypt was the only true God, they could not be his people no matter how faithfully they kept the other nine commandments.
Godâ€™s name is special because it carries his personal identity. Using it frivolously or in a curse is so common today that many people fail to realize how serious it is. The way people use Godâ€™s name conveys how they feel about him.
The Sabbath was a day set aside for rest and worship. God commanded a Sabbath because human beings need to spend unhurried time in worship and rest each week. A God who is concerned enough to provide a day each week for his people to rest is indeed wonderful. To observe a regular time of rest and worship in this fast-paced world demonstrates how important God is to his people who observe it.
Parents have a special place in Godâ€™s sight. Even those who find it difficult to get along with their parents are still commanded to honor them.
Giving false testimony means lying in court. God knew that Israel could not survive unless its system o justice was incorruptible. God wants his people to be honest in private dealings as well as in public statements. God warns against deception. To covet is to wish to have the possessions of others. It goes beyond simply admiring someone elseâ€™s possessions or thinking â€œIâ€™d like to have one of those.â€ Coveting includes envy, which is resenting the fact that others have what you do not have. Since only God can provide happiness he knew it would be important to teach his people to look to him for their needs and desires. Because of his love for his people, God provided the laws that they would need to raise moral and honest generations â€" not just back in Bible times but for all the generations yet to come.
Please use the form below to comment on this page: