2 And he said: “The Lord came from Sinai, and dawned on them from Seir;
He shone forth from Mount Paran, and He came with ten thousands of saints; from His right hand came a fiery law for them. 3 Yes, He loves the people; all His saints are in Your hand; they sit down at Your feet; everyone receives Your words. – Deuteronomy 33:2-3
Last week we looked at God’s everlasting love that does not abandon us. Today, let us reflect on another interesting manifestation of this love – the commandments of God.
A world renowned person once said that he wanted nothing to do with Christianity. He wanted to keep his wild life and so came up with a bunch of ‘voluntary rules’ that enabled him to do that. The world is looking for easy laws to follow that does not really ‘tie them down or bother them’.
Well, I think somewhere along the way we have lost the real perspective on laws. Imagine we are hurrying for work and we come to a traffic signal. There seems to be no other vehicle in sight and we wonder why we have to stop at the red light. There is neither a hidden camera nor a police cruiser around, so we step on the gas and zoom off. Suppose we come by on another day to the same signal and just as we slow down, we see a bus flying past us. If we hadn’t stopped at the signal then we would have been run over by that bus! It would probably dawn on us in that moment that the red light, that is, THE LAW actually was meaningful (and lifesaving too)!
Having established a primary case for the importance of law, let’s now look at the famous laws that God has provided us.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS – THE GRAND ENTRY
Laws can be categorized into two – one that involves paying a fine and being let off and the other that is fiery. It means that if we err we will be punished definitely. God’s Ten Commandments are fiery laws that are meant to be obeyed. We can’t ignore or disregard them at all.
The Ten Commandments are the invaluable stop signs placed at prime intersections of our lives.
Before we study them in detail, let’s backtrack to their grand entrance.
The Israelites had just been delivered out of years of slavery. They were headed now to the Promised Land. God provided them with daily provision and protection. In return, all they did was grumble and murmur. They didn’t do a single thing in order to be eligible for His continued favor. However, God blessed them because He had made a Covenant with them. On Mount Sinai, He carved His love for them with His fingers on the stone and wrote out the 10 Commandments. All that He asked of them was that they follow these instructions that would aid them in their journey.
It’s like sending our 18 year old child to college. The loving parent heart wouldn’t want him or her to get into trouble. So we will arm them with tons of instructions and advice. Those aren’t meant to be a bother. We love our child and only want the best for him or her.
The Ten Commandments are an expression of God’s love toward us. Charles Spurgeon said, ‘The Ten Commandments are God’s great kindness to the son of men. For it tells us of the wisest and happiest way of living. It forbids nothing but what would be to our injury and it withholds from us nothing that would be a real pleasure to us. God doesn’t make laws denying us anything that would be for our good. We ought to see the love of God in the gift of the law of God’.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS – THE GREAT PURPOSE
We have already cleared the air about the fact that law is not meaningless. Let’s see some examples in this regard.
- Psalm 1:2 says, ‘But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.
- Psalm 19: 9, 10 say ‘The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb’.
The Psalmist seems to indicate that God’s Word or His judgments are sweet and desirable. Essentially, the commandments and laws of God enabled people to lead a better life. Now, they were not able to fulfill the laws completely in the Old Testament. Hence when Jesus came, He not only fulfilled the letter of the law but also the spirit of the law. For example – He taught that getting angry with another amounted to murder or looking at a woman lustfully resulted in adultery.
God’s Word admonishes us to fear Him and keep His Commandments. When we do that, God blesses us. We don’t have to worry that we won’t be able to fulfill the law. Jesus has fulfilled the law and has given us the power to live by it.
…to be continued…