Tag Archives: Ten Commandments

Chapter-a-Day Deuteronomy 5

Digitally Remastered.
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“You were afraid, remember, of the fire and wouldn’t climb the mountain. He said:….” Deuteronomy 5:5 (MSG)

When a music group becomes very popular they eventually repackage their most popular songs in a “Greatest Hits” CD. A popular movie will eventually be re-released again and again as a Directors Cut, an Anniversary Edition, or an Unrated version. What many people don’t realize about the book of Deuteronomy is that it’s basically an Anniversary Edition of what’s already been told in Exodus, Leviticus and Numbers. Deuteronomy is a “second reading” or “retelling.” You’ll notice in today’s chapter that Moses says, “remember when you were afraid” and then recounts the events of Exodus and the ten commandments.

A few years ago I was meeting with some bloggers and happened to complain that I felt that I was running out of things to say on my professional blog.

“Then say them again,” one wise old blogger said to me matter-of-factly. “Do children hear their parents the first time, or do parents have to repeat themselves over and over before it sinks in?”

Sage advice. No matter how old we get, we are all still children. We need to hear the same truths over and over again, packaged in different ways and spoken by different voices. God knew that the ten commandments would not sink in on the first reading. Truth is not a one and done enterprise. We need to “remember.” We need to pick up the greatest hits version, then the bootleg series and then we’ll want to listen to the remastered copy.

God is not finished with me. I will never be finished with His Message. I will continue to be a wayfarer trekking through its Truths again and again and again until the journey’s end.

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Chapter-a-Day Exodus 20

God's top ten.

No lusting after your neighbor's house—or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don't set your heart on anything that is your neighbor's. Exodus 20:17 (MSG)

Long before David Letterman, there was God. And, from the home office on Mount Sinai, God delivers his own top ten list of rules to live by.

A couple of observations/confessions from this particular rule breaker:

  1. As I run through the list it's funny how the rules which I easily obey without forethought (e.g. "Do not murder") seem to be the most important ones on the list, but the ones with which I tend to struggle (e.g. "Don't set your heart on something someone else has" or "set aside a day to rest each week") feel like they belong at the bottom of the list in priority. Hmmmm. [scratching head]
  2. I find that the childish way I played "the letter of the law" with my parents (e.g. "I know you said be home by midnight, but it was midnight on the west coast – you didn't specify a time zone!") creeps back into my heart and mind. God doesn't want me setting my heart on my neighbor's donkey – no problem. Just for the record, God did not specify my neighbors home theatre with 52 inch flat screen, late model luxury sedan, or iPhone.
  3. I find that I like to interpret the rules literally when it suits my purpose and gives me a smug sense of self-righteousness (e.g. "Don't murder") and conveniently ignore Jesus' reminder that the spirit of law is just as important to consider (e.g. "Calling someone an 'idiot' is a form of murder).

Ouch.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and rob sheridan