If you were asked, “What are the top 10 things listed in the Bible?”, what would you say? A lot of us might answer, “The Ten Commandments.” That’s a pretty good answer. One day, some religious leaders trying to trick Jesus asked him, “What’s the greatest commandment?” Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. And the second is like unto it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In His answer, Jesus narrowed down the 10 Commandments to 2!
In this devotional series, we’ll look at all 10 Commandments and see how they fit into the two themes Jesus was talking about. The first 4 Commandments deal with our relationship with God. The next 6 Commandments address our relationship with people. In each devotion, you will see how the grace of God in Jesus Christ shows us how to live our lives to honor God more fully.
#10 – You shall not covet. Exodus 20: 17
The 10th Commandment could certainly be rated #2 in importance, because it sums up and reinforces all the previous commandments. The word covet means desire. The Bible does not tell us that desire is wrong, but it does tell us that we are not to desire the wrong things or desire good things in the wrong way.
#9 – You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Exodus 20:16
The command itself sounds like it came out of the court room when a witness would place his right hand on the Bible, raise his left hand, and say, “I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, so help me God.” But, of course, it is much bigger than that. To look more closely at this command, read about these two people:
#8 – You shall not steal. Exodus 20:15
Stealing is pervasive … it grows and grows. What might start out as a child taking a cookie out of the cookie jar when they’re not supposed to, becomes a way of life in how the child treats other people and their property: What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine! Here are some questions that will get you to thinking about how this temptation to steal might be raising its ugly head in your life:
#7 – You shall not commit adultery. Exodus 20:14
“The man shall leave his father and mother, coming together with his wife, and the two shall become one.” This union is called marriage. The Bible teaches that this is to be a holy union, unlike any other human experience, in which the husband and wife share an intimacy that will honor God and bring great joy to their lives.
#6 – You shall not murder. Exodus 20:13
The Lord highly values human life. In creation, “God created man in His own image.” (Gen. 1:27). This was not said about any of the rest of God’s creation. To commit murder is very serious because a person has taken malicious action to end another person’s life. The murderer has actually taken the place of God to end a human life. We all know the agony of grief such an act causes.
#5 – Honor your father and your mother…. Exodus 20:12
This is the second commandment stated in the positive and it begins the second division of commandments, which are directed at our relationship with others. The Bible has much to say about honoring others:
Top 10 Day 4 - Sabbath
#4 – Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. (Exodus 20:8)
God instructed the people to rest on the Sabbath (the 7thday of the week) and have a special day to honor him. The day was supposed to be a day of joy and thanksgiving, but it became a huge burden. Why?
#3 - You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain…for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. (Exodus 20:7)
Using God’s name when there is no genuine faith or commitment is a violation of this commandment. We are simply using God’s name to draw attention or get something for ourselves. The first followers of Jesus Christ were called Christians, which means “little Christs.” For those who truly knew the Lord and want him to be honored in their life, it became a true blessing to be called by His name…to be called “Christian.”
#2 - You shall not make for yourself a carved image…You shall not bow down to them or worship them (Exodus 20:4-5)
While it may seem like bowing down to carved images is not relevant to us today, in ancient times it was common. We might think that we don’t need to worry about this commandment. After all, we don’t see idols set up all over the place! Or, do we?
#1 - You shall have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3)
If a tornado hits a junk yard, what is the chance that a beautiful house would come together during that storm? “Well,” you might think, “that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard!” It is pretty ridiculous. There is no example in human history where something good was created out of chaos.