And God spoke all these words, saying… Exodus 20:1
While the people are looking on amidst roaring thunder, flashes of lightning, booming trumpets, and a smoking mountain, God speaks to Moses. He gives His people commandments about how to live along with instructions about altars, slaves, restitution, social justice, Sabbath, festivals, and more. He confirms the covenant and tells of a land set apart for them.
Among the directives, God lays out ten specific commandments. A way to teach these people who only knew slavery how to live as free people set apart by a holy God, reflecting His nature and glory.
You shall have no other gods before God. You shall make no idols. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. Keep the Sabbath day holy. Honor our father and mother. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet.
When Jesus walks the earth long after these commands are given, He summarizes them as LOVE GOD & LOVE OTHERS. We can even look at the commandments themselves as pointing to the cross, with the first four being the vertical anchor, representing our relationship with God, and the next six being horizontal, representing our relationship with each other.
The commandments and laws are a picture of obedient, holy, right living. Here’s the problem: we can’t keep them. The laws ultimately serve to show us there is no way we can ever be “good enough” for a Holy God. We can’t save ourselves. And that is part of the plan. We weren’t intended to save ourselves…but we need to understand this fact.
John Piper says we must see our plight before we can recognize the rescue. The law reveals our plight. Jesus is our rescuer.
Thankfully the laws aren’t a requirement for our salvation. He is the requirement for salvation. God sent Jesus to do what we couldn’t do.
Challenge: Fully acknowledge the depth of God’s mercy and grace. Examine each of the 10 commandments and thank Jesus for how He has saved you from your personal and specific failures in each one.