“And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.” – Exodus 20:20
One has to remember, the beginning of the nation of Israel was under Egypt over hundreds of years and under the reign of different Pharaohs, dating back to Joseph, for he was the second in command over the entire province of Egypt. Here is the proof coming from the KJV Bible, the standard for all TRUTH:
“wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh: and give us seed, that we may live, and not die, that the land be not desolate. And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them: so the land became Pharaoh’s.”
Genesis 47:19-20 KJV
We can all assume that within a few decades, given the experiences of this current life (click on Ecclesiastes 1:4-9), was when the Israelite people began to look to other gods. Egypt was a polytheistic culture in which they couldn’t see to worship a god who wasn’t physically there, but a picture of the gods in the form of idols. However, the Israelite people were going through a test when the Lord, the God of Israel, gave verbally the Ten Commandments.
Yet, all the families that made up Israel, twelve sons of Jacob, their families and their extended families to “fear not, for God has come to prove you.” Just before this, God speaks to all of Israel, saying, “I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Exodus 20:2 KJV). The actual tablets of stone were not written by the hand of God until (click on) Exodus 31:18. Here is what the LORD said:
1) “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”
This was the first of the Ten Commandments of the LORD given to all of Israel. Yet, how long or how quick would you forget what the LORD has done for you? This was said days after pulling off one of the greatest miracles, certainly, in the Old Testament if not the whole entire Bible from man’s point of view — the crossing of the Red Sea in Exodus 14. Talking about attention grabbers! The LORD knows how to get the attention of His people Israel. Yet, pretty much all of the people of Israel turned within forty days and made a golden calf from all the gold the people of Israel collected when the Egyptians freely gave it to them after the last plague.
2) “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:4-6)
It is pretty easy to make a “graven image.” Back in ancient Israel, where you were surrounded by many Egyptian gods, it was pretty easy to look to these gods because each one had an idol, and many Egyptians bought copies of the idol. However, they were a polytheistic culture. In fact there were ten gods and godesses in Egypt, one plague to aaddress each of them. That is why there are ten commandments, I believe.
Fast forward to the early 1990’s (which was 30 years ago) when I was at a Christian college, and a group of friends said how wimpy Jesus looked dying on the cross from all the pictures we have seen up to that point. Knowing that one person that was among that group of friends was an amateur artist, I piped up and said, “Could you make me a picture of what you think Jesus looked like on the cross?” He gladly accepted. It took about a week. The picture of a blood soaked Jesus was more than I could imagine as the picture of this Jesus was anything but wimpy. Blood was coursing down his rippled body hanging on that cross. I couldn’t wait to put it up in my room as I had the perfect spot for this built Jesus upon the cross. I said to myself, “Finally, a picture more in basis of reality than what we have been seeing.” However, just a few days later, I was admiring the picture, and suddenly the Holy Spirit inside of me said “I’m not there” referring to Jesus. I immediately tore that beautiful picture down.
3)”Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.” (Exodus 20:7)
This is still a problem today, and it exists in various forms. Just think about it when type omg where texts they don’t think that God looks at that. Yet, I could hardly imagine that Israelites suffered from this way back then. With Pharaoh’s Army just drowned in the Red Sea, the Israelites went back to their old habits of complaining and fussing when they were stuck in Egypt. And it not to far that when you complain and fuss that some uncomely words might flow from your lips. That is why it is the third commandment.
4) “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” (Exodus 20:8)
This has been a problem not only Israel in Moses’ day but has plagued the human race since salvation was open to those who were not Jews. This fourth commandment was reinforced by Jesus. As far as Jesus and the Sabbath goes, I found an article on this topic from (click on) themountaineer.com. It says:
Some of you are asking, “Why did you tear it down?” Simply because it could have been my “graven image” because it was just a picture. Sure, I could have justified that picture of a bloodied buff Jesus on a cross, but that wouldn’t have been correct. Which turns me to you. Are you putting anything before God? Could it be a picture of some major sports star, money, shopping, porn, etc? Think. Let the Holy Spirit inside you point out whatever might be wrong in your life. God is a jealous God!
Here is some additional information gathered from (click on) themountaineer.com:
“Jesus healed on the Sabbath because God the Father works every day,” says Marissa, 10. “Since Jesus is his son, he works every day, too. Just think what would happen if God just took a day off!”
Apart from Jesus claiming to be the Messiah, the issue of Sabbath observance produced more conflict with religious leaders than anything else.
Why all the fuss? Perhaps a little background on the Sabbath would be helpful.
Although not mentioned by name in the Genesis record of creation, the idea of the Sabbath is presented. After God created the heavens and the Earth, he rested on the seventh day (Saturday). The fourth of the Ten Commandments says to refrain from work on the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11).
During the time of Israel’s wanderings in the desert, God supplied them with manna from heaven to eat. On day six of every week, he gave them enough manna for two days so they wouldn’t have to work to gather it on the seventh day.
God instituted the Sabbath in Israel to give his people a day of rest in which they could focus on him. Religious leaders had too much time on their hands and started making rules about what constituted work.
Don’t think this is ancient history. I’ve been in modern Israel and seen an orthodox Jew dressed in black shake his finger at me because I rode in a taxi on Saturday. My Jewish taxi driver wasn’t impressed with the finger-wagging man in black.
When religious leaders accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath because his disciples plucked some grain and ate it as they walked through a field, he said: “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27-28).By creating many laws that defined work, religious leaders made the Sabbath a burden instead of a blessing.
As Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus healed a man who had been unable to walk for 38 years (John 5:1-18). Jesus told the lame man to pick up his bed and walk. The Sabbath rule enforcers were waiting to pounce.
Sabbath enforcers didn’t care that a man who had been crippled for 38 years had been healed. Their focus on rules blinded them to Jesus’ miracle. They wanted to know who told the healed man to break one of their rules.
“It made them especially mad when Jesus told them that he was God’s son, and since God worked on the Sabbath, he could, too,” says Margo, 10.
Jesus purposely called God “my Father,” instead of “our Father.” He sent a strong message to his critics, and they got it. They were furious. They wanted to kill Jesus because he broke the Sabbath by breaking one of their rules and made himself equal with God (John 5:18).
For the Christian, Jesus is our rest or Sabbath. They rest in Christ and his finished work on the cross for their salvation. To see this argument in full, read Hebrews 4.
Think about this: Let Jesus become your Sabbath. Trust in him alone and his work on the cross as the final payment for your sins.
Memorize this truth: “For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His” (Hebrews 4:10).
Ask these questions: Have you ceased trying to work your way into God’s favor? Have you trusted or rested in Jesus’ final payment for your sins on the cross?
5)“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”
No matter how old you are, God doesn’t place an age limit to these Ten Commandments. You are always supposed to honor your father and mother.
6-10) “Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.”
What can I say; we all struggle with this, simply, because, in the first five commandments it has to do with your treatment of the LORD GOD, Himself. “Well, what about commandment number five where it tells you to honor your father and mother, how does that relate to God?” one may ask. Simply if you honor your parents, then you will find it easy to honor the LORD GOD.
The last five of the commandments has to do with your treatment of others. Not only your friends and family members but the whole world. Take an example from Jesus’ life where He commanded to “love your neighbor” (click on Matthew 22:39). Yet, this doesn’t mean that you can steal from God (click on Malachi 3:8-10) or any of the the remaining commandments.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)
For all human beings are under the Adamic curse, except the One who couldn’t, Jesus. The Holy Spirit placed a seed, a Holy Seed, into Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, thus providing salvation to us all.
~ Darren L Beattie, The Soul Blogger of TrueLifeChristianity.com ~