God’s Commandments

God’s Commandments

The Ten Commandments were given on Mount Sinai. It is seen as the foundation of all righteous laws and the moral law of YAHWEH to the people of Israel and, by extension, humanity. The Decalogue, which means ‘ten words’, is all about moral principles given by God to enhance the relationship between humanity and God. In Exodus 20:2, God introduced himself to the people of Israel not as the creator but as 

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;”

God introduced Himself as their deliverer and this is to establish the relationship that existed between them and God. The people are expected to obey because of their love and relationship with God, and it is essential to note that there is no compulsion here. So basically, it can be seen as what I am to you and how I want our relationship to be.

Lent is a period where we are constantly reminded of our role with God and humanity and why it is always important to stay close to him and obey his commands. The world will see us differently, but we should not be worried because we are different. In one of his inspirational messages, Monsignor Joseph Pellegrino said this about the Ten Commandments:

“The Ten Commandments call us to a way of life that is out of tune with much of society. Honesty, respect for parents, fidelity, respect for property, putting God before all else, giving Him a day a week, are all ways we are distinct from others.”

God’s commandments are for the good of man, and they make us better people for the kingdom, society, and our relationships. 

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;” (Psalm 19:7).

Our obedience to the commands of God is the right thing to do because it brightens our path and gladdens our heart. Our obedience to God is a sign of our fear of the Lord, and that is wisdom because He will never leave us astray but will be a guiding principle every step of the way. 

Jesus whipped and drove out the sellers and knocked their tables over because they turned a place of worship into a marketplace. These people were not interested in anything other than the money they sought to make through their dubious buying and selling enterprise. The commandment of God is to serve the good of all, not for personal aggrandisement. Jesus is telling us this morning that the house of God shall be a house of prayer, not a din of robbers. Our heart is the house of God, and our hearts are full of worship or evil intentions. What do we harbour in our hearts? Are they things that glorify God in prayer?  

“The purpose of problems is to push you toward obedience to God’s laws, which are exact and cannot be changed. We have the free will to obey them or disobey them. Obedience will bring harmony; disobedience will bring you more problems.”

(Peace Pilgrim (1992). “Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words”, p.59, Friends of Peace Pilgrim)

My dear people of God, our LORD commands us to love one another and be interested in the well-being of all. If we love him, we will not be idolatrous, we will not utter His name in vain, we will at least dedicate one day of the seven days in the week to Him, and if we are loving, we will honour those who are old enough to be our parents, if we love we will not murder, commit adultery, steal, bear false witness against our neighbour and if we love we will not covet. 

Let us not think that we can neglect God’s commandments because they make us morally and ethically sound and fit for purpose in the kingdom of God. When everyone obeys these commands, there will be peace in this world, filled with constant chaos, war, injustice, corruption, poverty, suffering and hopelessness because, 

“God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength. (1 Corinthians 1:25).

Jesus Christ summarises the commandments in Matthew 22:37-40 

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.”This is the greatest and first commandment.And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Amen.