Apr 17/12 - Deuteronomy 5:33, NIV
Walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.
There are Christians today who think Israel was given the Land unconditionally. They have not bothered to read their Bibles very closely. Constantly, the promises of God to Israel are linked to obedience. We study this in detail in our Covenants Course.
Even in our lives today our actions have consequences. Some Christians think they can sin without penalty. True, Jesus Christ bore our penalty before God, but we will still face the consequences of our actions [good or bad] on this planet. And they will have an impact on the generations which follow us.
Apr 11/12 - Deuteronomy 5:32, NIV
So be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left.
We don't follow God by accident. We don't please God by lazy wandering. It takes diligence. It takes study. It takes application. It takes determination. We have to be dependant on Him and willing to follow His will even when it conflicts with our will. We have to walk in His steps even when it brings confusion and pain.
Apr 9/12 - Deuteronomy 5:30-31, NIV
“Go, tell them to return to their tents. But you stay here with me so that I may give you all the commands, decrees and laws you are to teach them to follow in the land I am giving them to possess.”
Moses had the honour of being taught by God in the ways of life and success. Moses came to a greater knowledge of God through communication with Him. As Christians, we have the written Word of God from Genesis to Revelation. It is our privilege and honour to learn to know God better by studying His Word…but do we do it? How much do we value God?
Apr 5/12 - Deuteronomy 5:29, NIV
Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!
Obedience is required for blessing. God longs for His children to be obedient so that they can enjoy all the good things He has planned for them. And it is not just for ourselves, but such blessing is passed down through the generations. Of course, we know that the ultimate blessing of knowing God and inheriting eternal life was won by the obedience of Christ on our behalf. However, there are many aspects of blessing on this earth that we enjoy or miss because of our obedience to the laws of God or lack thereof.
Apr 4/12 - Deuteronomy 5:28, NIV
The LORD heard you when you spoke to me and the LORD said to me, “I have heard what this people said to you. Everything they said was good.
God hears us even when we are not directly speaking to Him. This seems obvious but, like Adam and Eve, sometimes we think what we say or do is hidden from God. How foolish!
God approved of what they said. It was not that He was approving of distancing themselves from Him, but that they were willing to obey Him. Obedience is always a requirement in relationship with God. Independence is the root of all sin. We have to learn dependence and that is based on following directions.
Mar 30/12 - Deuteronomy 5:26-27, NIV
For what mortal man has ever heard the voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and survived? Go near and listen to all that the LORD our God says. Then tell us whatever the LORD our God tells you. We will listen and obey.”
Although they were unwilling to risk their lives in knowing God, they were perfectly happy to risk Moses' life! How many Christians expect their pastor or Christian leaders to do all the work of the ministry? Pastors and Christian leaders are there as training tools to teach them how to do the work, not to do the work themselves. But we are happy to pay someone else to do our work and deceive ourselves into thinking we have done our Christian responsibility. Judgment day will reveal otherwise. Every Christian is responsible of knowing and doing the will of God in their own lives. Every Christian needs to know the Word of God for themselves.
Mar 26/12 - Deuteronomy 5:23-25, NIV
When you heard the voice out of the darkness, while the mountain was ablaze with fire, all the leading men of your tribes and your elders came to me. And you said, “The LORD our God has shown us his glory and his majesty, and we have heard his voice from the fire. Today we have seen that a man can live even if God speaks with him. But now, why should we die? This great fire will consume us, and we will die if we hear the voice of the LORD our God any longer.
These men knew the presence of God. They heard the voice of God. They knew they could have a relationship with God. But they also knew that such a relationship would shake them out of their comfort zone. They considered the price of relationship with God too high. They had the slave mentality. They would obey, but they wanted no responsibility. Many Christians are like this today. "Lord, just tell me what you want me to do and I'll do it, but I don't want to take the risk or invest the time to know you. Tell me what You want and then let me get on with my life." How sad. They miss so much.
Mar 24/12 - Deuteronomy 5:22, NIV
These are the commandments the LORD proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness; and he added nothing more. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me.
As we study in Life Line, the Ten Commandments are summary laws. The other laws are simply explanations and examples of how the Ten Commandments apply in practical situations. If we keep the spirit of the Ten Commandments, all the other laws with keep themselves! In fact, Jesus summarized the Ten Commandments down even further: Love God, Love Others. If we truly do those two things we have kept the law by default. Our study of the Law of God should not focus so much on the negative, but we need to look at it as instructions on how to love God and love others. What a difference that would make in our thinking of the Law!
Mar 22/12 - Deuteronomy 5:21, NIV
You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife. You shall not set your desire on your neighbor’s house or land, his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Like Paul, we have to learn to be content with what we have. This is a heart commandment. We can break this commandment without doing any physical acts. Breaking this command leads to breaking the other commandments. Before we do a physical act of disobedience, we must first do a mental act of disobedience. We must think about breaking the law before we do it. It all starts in the heart and being dissatisfied with the life God has give us. Let us guard our hearts with all diligence and practice the discipline of thankfulness.
Mar 21/12 - Deuteronomy 5:20, NIV
You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
Any progressive society is passed on the assumption that the majority of people are honest. When dishonesty begins to become a major factor then society grounds to a halt or begins to move backward to chaos. Part of the penalty of such a backward society is increased expenses for everyone as individuals, businesses and governments have to protect themselves with extra insurance, security devices, and fraud prevention devices. God is not mocked. If we will not be honest and open with each other, we will pay a heavy price in every way.
Mar 20/12 - Deuteronomy 5:19, NIV
You shall not steal.
We usually think of stealing as people taking things or money from other people by force or things like shop lifting. While it certainly includes that, it includes much more. The major thieves in our world today are governments who steal from their own citizens by high taxes, inflation, licences, oppressive laws, etc. All such actions are theft and the citizens that demand the government steal in order to provide them with services are guilty of hiring a thief to do their dirty work for them. We are a society based on murder and theft, but God will not be mocked. One day judgment will come unless we repent and return to the ways of God.
Mar 16/12 - Deuteronomy 5:18, NIV
You shall not commit adultery.
Sex is a powerful drive and one of the most intense pleasures God has given to a man and wife. Satan loves to take this and twist it into all sorts of hurtful ways. What God has intended to strengthen the bonds of marriage and unity, Satan uses to tear apart marriages and hinder what God is building. One unguarded moment can wreak destruction. God warns us about it here. God's commands are not for His benefit, but for ours. He knows how life works and how it does not work. Jesus expanded on this commandment by saying that even the lustful thought was adultery.
Mar 9/12 - Deuteronomy 5:17, NIV
You shall not murder.
This seems straightforward enough; however, since the Ten Commandments are summary Laws it covers a lot more then just physical murder. Any laws which protect against or punish the unnatural death of something would fall under this commandment. This includes laws on harming the environment, killing relationships, destroying the economy through socialism or perverted capitalism, etc. There are many murderers walking our streets and ruling our nations who have never literally killed another person; nevertheless, they will stand condemned by this Law on Judgment Day unless they repent.
Mar 8/12 - Deuteronomy 5:16, NIV
Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
Honouring our parents is fundamental to the stability of society and it is the first command that comes with a promise. Honouring our parents means treating them with respect and helping them when they need it and we are able. This is not just a command for young children, but even for adult children who may have to look after their parents in their old age. The promise is a general statement of the will of God. It does not mean that every specific child who honours his parents will live a long life, but it does mean that in a society where most children honour their parents there will be blessing and long life in general. A society which allows children to mock, disrespect and take advantage of their parents is a society sitting on Death Row.
Mar 7/12 - Deuteronomy 5:15, NIV
Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the LORD your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.
In Deuteronomy the reason for the Sabbath is given as remembering what God had saved them from and how He had done it. Sometimes we get so used to the Christian life that we begin to take it for granted. It is good to take time to remember where we came from. We need to remember the hand of God in our lives. We do not live in the past, but we can be continually grateful that we are no longer held slave to it. We have been set free and released to serve our Mighty and Loving Lord.
Mar 3/12 - Deuteronomy 5:14, NIV
but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor the alien within your gates, so that your manservant and maidservant may rest, as you do.
Interestingly, the Sabbath was not originally a day of worship but a day of rest. God knows our bodies need to rest and relax. He set aside one day out of seven just for resting. Everybody, even the work animals, needs a day of rest. There is no reason in nature for a seven day week [like there is for a day, a month and a year]. The reason is found in this command of God. Heathen societies do not usually have a day of rest until they come in contact with Christianity or Judaism. Of course, the Sabbath points to our rest in Christ and in His perfect work.
Mar 2/12 - Deuteronomy 5:13, NIV
Six days you shall labor and do all your work,
Sometimes we are so busy focusing on the Sabbath that we forget that God told us to work for six days. Many modern men try to avoid work. They look forward only to their "days off." Work is a blessing from God. We should not be trying to avoid it, but we should be trying to be as productive as possible even if it does not directly benefit us. God is a Worker and His children should be as well.
Feb 29/12 - Deuteronomy 5:12, NIV
Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the LORD your God has commanded you.
Christians celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday as the Day of Resurrection. While we are no longer under the legal requirement of literal Sabbath-keeping, it points us to Truth that is vital. The Sabbath is to remind us that God is in control. He is our Provider. We can take a day to rest and relax and let God be God. We can focus on Him and love Him and the thankful for all He has done. We need to set aside time for God and not get so caught up in the rush of living that we by-pass Him.
Feb 28/12 - Deuteronomy 5:11, NIV
You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
We often think of this commandment in regard to profanity. While it certainly has applications there, it is not limited to profanity. In the Bible, someone's name represented their authority. To misuse the Name of the Lord is to misuse His authority. It can involve glibly saying things like, in the Name of Jesus, when we have no thought behind it. But it can also include abusing our authority in Jesus by doing things as His representatives that He has not authorized us to do. When properly understood, this commandment has a wide range of applications.
Feb 27/12 - Deuteronomy 5:9-10, NIV
You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
We often think of jealousy in negative terms, but jealousy does have a positive element. A husband or a wife has a right to be jealous if their spouse is giving romantic attention to someone else. And God has a right to be jealous if we are going after other gods by placing people or things above Him.
Our actions have consequences beyond ourselves. What we do will affect our descendants for better or worse. Notice God's mercy at work. Punishment of sin is only carried on to the 3rd or 4th generation while reward for loving God is carried down a 1000 generations! Plus the fact that if one of the children under the consequences of the father's sin turns to God they are instantly cut off from the punishment and placed under the blessing of God. This is one reason why I have a problem with some of the teaching on generational curses. When a person comes to Christ, they have a new and holy genealogy. Any generational curse or punishment is ended at the Cross.
Feb 25/12 - Deuteronomy 5:8, NIV
“You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
Our God made the heavens and earth. We are not to try and limit Him to a image. We are to worship God, not a representative whether human, animal, rock, tree, sky, etc. Our focus is on God as revealed through His Word. Praying to saints or their images is also forbidden by this law. What is not forbidden is artwork and images used in decoration and entertainment. It is only when it becomes an object of worship that it violates the second commandment.
Feb 24/12 - Deuteronomy 5:7, NIV
You shall have no other gods before me.
The first commandment is that God must have the priority. He is the Creator and Redeemer. He is the Centre of the Universe. If we have a higher priority, we are out of balance. Nothing will work as it should, at least, in the long term. This is the first temptation - to be as god. It is also the root of every temptation. Man outside of God always searches for something to replace Him with. Why seek a replacement when you can have the Real Thing?
Feb 23/12 - Deuteronomy 5:6, NIV
I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
Just before giving the Ten Commandments God reminds them that that He is Lord [absolute Master] and that He brought them out of slavery. He was taking them to freedom. The humanists have twisted the concept of freedom into the ability to do whatever you want. Their vision gives freedom for evil and slavery for those who want to do what is right. True freedom is always disciplined and lives according to God's Laws. For example, humanist freedom is like a man sitting down at a piano and thumping at whatever keys he wants. Christian freedom is like the disciplined artist who sits down at the same piano and produces a beautiful piece of music. Which one truly has beneficial freedom? Someone will always be free and someone will always be a slave. The question is who will be free? Those who work evil or those who work righteousness? They both cannot be.
Feb 22/12 - Deuteronomy 5:4-5, NIV
The LORD spoke to you face to face out of the fire on the mountain. (At that time I stood between the LORD and you to declare to you the word of the LORD, because you were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain.) And he said:
God spoke, but the people were afraid to listen. They wanted Moses to listen for them [let someone else take the risks] and then they could listen secondhand. We need to be willing to learn secondhand - what God has said to others - listening to sermons, reading books, etc. But it is vitally important that we do not limit ourselves to secondhand information. We need to learn to hear from God ourselves. We need to have the courage to listen and obey directly. Secondhand learning will not lead to spiritual maturity. We need to know God for ourselves.
Feb 21/12 - Deuteronomy 5:2-3, NIV
The LORD our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. It was not with our fathers that the LORD made this covenant, but with us, with all of us who are alive here today.
It is amazing that God would enter into a covenant relationship with man. And not only a covenant, but a blood covenant. The Mosaic Covenant is only one of seven major covenants which God has made with mankind. Each covenant is built on the previous ones and leads to the final Covenant, the New Covenant. We study each covenant in detail in The Covenants course. What wonderful grace and mercy God has on us!
Feb 20/12 - Deuteronomy 5:1, NIV
Moses summoned all Israel and said: Hear, O Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them.
Teaching, learning and obeying all go together. We need to be taught what God expects. Even as Christians we need to be constantly taught and reminded about the ways of God. It is easy to slip into our own ways and desires. But just being taught is not enough. We can let the words go in one ear and out the other. We need to take the due diligence to learn what is being taught. We have to work at understanding. Then there is the final step: obedience. Knowing and understanding what God wants is pointless if there is no application to our lives. We must obey.
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