As we continue our discussion of the Ten Commandments, not the ten suggestions, we start to see some foundational things to build on. We see that they build on one another. Without agreement on the first one it is hard to proceed to the next. They are not multiple choice, they are all of the above. Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The 10 Commandments:
1 You shall have no other gods before Me.
2 You shall not make idols.
3 You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
4 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5 Honor your father and your mother.
6 You shall not murder.
7 You shall not commit adultery.
8 You shall not steal.
9 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10 You shall not covet.
I think of it like building a car, without a good chassis there is no reason to bolt in an engine and build a car around it. Whenever a car is in an accident it is torn down to see how deep the damage goes. If the damage is found to go all the way to the frame it is said to be “junk”.
The foundation of our understanding of God is that He is the only one. He is the creator. He is our God. How do we know this? Take a look under the hood. How do we know one car from another? By the way they are built. The chassis builder or engine builder has a way of doing things that are their signature. We know who built it by the way it is built. We can always spot a counterfeit. Why? Because the original cannot be copied perfectly.
When we look at each human being and break the biology down we find DNA. A unique signature from the creator that identifies each one of us. So much so it is used to identify people, no two have the same DNA. God designed it that way, it is not an accident.
When God says I am the Lord your God, have no other gods before me he means I am the one who created you, knows you and you are mine. As much as we try to separate ourselves from Him we cannot. Our best course of action for a fulfilling and satisfying life is to acknowledge Him.
He goes on to say that we should not make any idols. Here is the complete text;
Exodus 20:4-6; NLT; “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.
Sometimes we have difficulty with setting priorities. We get things out of order. We focus on things that are not good for us while we ignore things that would be beneficial to us. Do you know the most common thing we replace God with in our lives? Ourselves. We become the object of our affection and worship. We become the focus of everything we do. Our lives start to revolve around ourselves. When we elevate ourselves to the top priority we become our idol, we replace God. That is not a good way to live.
Other times we elevate other things into the top priority, work, home, car, money, other people, the list can include anything. We don’t often equate those things with idol worship or making an image to replace God but that’s exactly what we are doing. This commandment says don’t make any image, person, place or thing, and elevate it above me.
This commandment comes with a caution, whatever we do it will not only affect us but it will affect our children and their children and so on and so on. One thing we must realize is our actions do not happen in a vacuum. Our actions affect those around us. I have heard it many times; ”I got caught up in somebody else’s mess.” That statement is so true.
This commandment says that when we have the right priorities and worship the one true God it is beneficial to our children and the generations to come. Our actions will benefit those who follow. One reason why is that they see from our example what is right. When they follow our example then the next generation sees what is right; right behavior produces results that honor God. Honoring God is good and beneficial to our lives.
What happens when we stray from this teaching? Look no further than the condition we are facing in this country. I believe the biggest problem we face is we have stopped making God a priority. We have stopped acknowledging God. We have gotten away from that as a nation and have taken our eyes off God and moved them to focus on ourselves. That is not the way the world should be.
I am the Lord your God, do not replace me with some man made image or idea of what we think is important. If we do, life will not go well for us and those that follow us. Acknowledge me and make keeping your focus on me a priority and life will go well with you.
I cannot stress this enough, these rules have more to them than just obedience, they come with the promise of blessing, God’s blessing. Many of us want God’s blessing. There is a catch, God’s blessing comes when we live a life that honors Him. Don’t misunderstand, there is forgiveness for our disobedience, but forgiveness doesn’t remove the consequences our disobedience created. Our decisions affect others and not necessarily in a good way. We need to be conscious of how our actions influence others. The Ten Commandments provide the foundation on which to build a life that recognizes God and honors Him.
Rules to live by, I am looking forward to exploring them further. Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.