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."

People often describe the ten commandments as a foundation. They talk about teaching them to children, "so they'll have something to build on."

The Ten Commandments are much more than a foundation. They're a whole house to live in.

As if learning the commandments were like taking driver's ed. You learn to drive, and you learn the law as it applies to driving; but you grow beyond the letter of that law to decide for yourself when you'll observe the speed limit, and how you'll behave at a four-way stop.

The first ten letters of the Hebrew alphabet are used as numbers. The commandments are counted out, "A", "B", "C", and so on.

Learning God's law is like learning the ABCs. Once you've learned the alphabet, you go on to use it. You may do your best to chop it up, and misuse it; but you can't add letters to it, or take them away, or invent your own alphabet. You learn it, and you live with it.

So we learn God's law, and spend our lives with it. Its words fit each new day we live.

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

About the author:

Laurence DeWolfe
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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