Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Flip Side of the 10 Commandments

Exodus 20:1-3 And God spoke all these words, saying: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.

I read a neat little study trick for taking a closer look at the Ten Commandments of God. That there are three rules for interpreting them that will help us understand them deeper and better. The first observation is that each commandment contains both a negative and a positive action, which we are to obey. For example, when a commandment forbids murder, it commends us to sustain life and help those whose lives are in danger. When a commandment forbids adultery, it commands purity. When a commandment forbids theft, it commands honesty and integrity. To fully obey a command, it is not enough to keep ourselves from doing what is forbidden; we must also do the opposite positive action. My dear cousin Laura (who has gone to be with the Lord) used to call this way of thinking and acting as “Flipped”. Flip it over and discover a great blessing.

Deuteronomy 6:25 “Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us.”

The article continued that the second observation is that when the Ten Commandments condemn one offense, this offense represents and includes all similar offenses. For example, when the commandment forbids adultery, it means it forbids all other forms of unlawful sex as defined by God; not only adultery between married people, but sex outside the content of marriage (fornication), as well as incest or homosexuality, which has become biblically ignored and politically correct by society and even many churches. Grandma used to ask: “If everyone was jumping off a cliff, would you jump too?” Grandma taught us wise lessons and truths to live by. So does the Bible.

John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

The third observation is that whatever is forbidden in the Commandment is forbidden in thoughts, words and actions (don't think it, don't say it, don't do it). The commandments reach into the very secret places of our hearts. They do not allow us to call ourselves righteous when we cover up evil motives with perfect talk and behavior. Jesus said in Matthew 23:27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”

As we meditate on the Commandments of God, let us examine the flip side of each one. Then we will know better how to express our love to God. The more we obey Him, the more He shows Himself and His holy Will to us for our lives. A statue of Moses holding the Ten Commandments sits atop the United States Supreme Court building in Washington D.C. because it is "In God We Trust" and God's Law is the original of all true law and justice. It was Broadcast Journalist Ted Koppel who said that God gave us the Ten Commandments, not the Ten Suggestions. Front side or flip side, they are words to live by and you can carve that in stone.

In Christ, Brian 

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