Ten Words Of Love (1)

Wednesday, October 23, 1996

Exodus 20:1-20 – And God spoke all these words: "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. You shall not covet."

There's a story that there were originally 600 commandments.

When Moses presented God's law to the people, they cried out, "This is too much, Moses! Can't you get God to lighten up a little?"

Moses trudged back up the mountain. "You've got to do some editing here, God."

Days later, Moses came back down with two big stones. "That's more like it," the people said.

"I've got good news and bad news," Moses announced. "The good news is that there are now only ten commandments. The bad news is that the one about adultery stays in."

That old, weak joke speaks more truth than we might realize. "The one about adultery stays in." That's what the ten commandments are all about: adultery.

Adultery is taking what we have promised to give our covenant partner, and giving it to someone else.

We are not bound to obey the law in order to earn God's favour, or prove our righteousness. But, as God's covenant partners, we freely accept God's law as our guide in life. Breaking, bending, picking and chosing which commandments we'll honour, forgetting God's claim on our life altogether… it's all adultery, for we are God's covenant partners.

Prayer: Loving God, help me to honour your law and keep your commandments as I live in covenant partnership with you. Amen.

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About the author:

Laurence DeWolfe
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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