The Ten Commandments- Part 2
January 20, 2019
Here's the Israelites, they've come out of Egypt, they've gone through the Red Sea, they're in the desert and they've come to Mount Sinai where it's a very famous moment in the history of Israel because this is where Moses is given the 10 Commandments. There is a lot around this, we'll talk about some of the more verses on Wednesday. It's important for us to look at these and to see how they are applied to our lives, last week we looked at the first four. Now, why did God give them these commandments?
Of course, when you think of the law there's a whole lot more than just these 10, but these are the key foundational beginning points. In many ways, they define the covenant relationship, but why did He give them the commandments at all? Well, because they needed them. Let's start with that. They needed them. Because they needed to be transformed, they lived as slaves, and they had no idea what it meant to live as a people unto God. They didn't know how to do this. They didn't know how to live as holy, they didn't know how to live as righteous. It's interesting because in chapter 19 the chapter before this, God said through Moses to the people, He said, “I bore you up on eagle's wings.”
Okay, first of all, I love that image. “I bore you on eagle's wings. I brought you to myself that you might become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” That's the vision. That's what God's intent is. By the way, did you know this is interesting? In the New Testament, He calls us a kingdom of priests as well. It's so interesting because Avi and I were driving to school, and she was studying ancient Israel in her class. She says, “Dad, do we have priests today?” I said, “Well, it's interesting because the Bible says, in the new covenant, New Testament, that we're a kingdom of priests, we're all priests to the Lord.” She says, “Wow, really? I'm a priest too? It's like I got all kinds of privileges now.”
She immediately started thinking of what she could do with this, but it is an interesting thing. It means that God has called us to Himself, that we be a people that minister unto the Lord. The privileges are amazing that come with it, but the responsibility is also to be transformed, that's why He gives us these. Now, we as Christians under the new covenant, we're not under law, we know that, we studied that, we're not under law, we're under grace, but that does not mean that we can sin as we wish. He's given us the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of living God is a Holy Spirit, to transform us, the heart of God be seen in us.
The first four commandments that we looked at, really summarize the greatest of all commandments. Jesus said, the highest the greatest of all that God has ever said, love the Lord your God with all your hearts or mind and strength. The second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang the entirety of the law and prophets, the Old Testament, all of it. The whole entire Old Testament can be summarized with those two things. Love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.
Honor God by Honoring Others
Now we're getting into these the second set of commandments that really summarize loving your neighbor as yourself. Now, it's important to recognize that when you are doing that, when you see a moral obligation, there is a moral obligation to love your neighbor, that you are actually honoring God when you do it. When you love your neighbor you are honoring God. Out of your relationship to God then that causes you to want to bring love to your neighbor. That's the reason, that's the motive, that's the inspiring for it. Let's read it. We're going to start in chapter 20 verse 12, we're just picking it right out now and the fifth of these commandments.
I. Honor Your Father and Mother
Honor your father and your mother. Now, this is important because in that day it's very common for the man to kind of have a preeminent role, but I love the fact that He puts them both right there to be honored. Both. Honor your father and your mother that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you. Tells us this is the first commandment that contains a promise with it. You'll live long in the land which the Lord gives you. Verse 13, you shall not murder. Verse 14, you shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. We're going to read all of these, but today we're going to look at only three.
You shall not covet your neighbor's house nor your neighbor's wife nor his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything. See that means anything that belongs to your neighbor. All the people perceive the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet in the mountains smoking and when the people saw it they trembled and they stood at a distance. They're so in awe of the presence of God now giving them this word.
Let's begin with honor your father and your mother, first commandment with a promise. It says that your days will be prolonged in the land. You will receive a blessing and that blessing will come from God when you honor your father and your mother. Now, typically there are two ways of seeing this promise, some suggests that by honoring your father and your mother that you'll have a long life. In other words, if you don't honor your father and your mother you might not have a long life. To quote a famous comedian who said to his son, “I brought you into this world and I'll take you out,” kind of idea. No, that's actually not what it means.
I think what it means, this promise that comes with this commandment is that they will live long as a nation when they honor their father and their mother. Do you know why? Because of this…
A. Family is the foundation of a nation.
Family is the foundation of a nation, family is the foundation. God is doing something here to establish strength in this nation. This promise is made to Israel but the principle is true today. The family is the foundation and the key to a nation's prosperity and a nation's strength. I tell you when the family breaks down it is only a matter of time before that nation will break down. It does not take long to see what's happening in this world today.
Do you sense with me that there is something changing in our culture and in our time? We're seeing families change. Dynamics of families that are changing before our eyes. I have many friends that are teachers in the public school, and they tell me something is changing and the dynamics in the classroom are dramatically different than they were 20 years ago. The amount of disrespect. The amount of animosity and anger. The amount of cursing. The amount of things that happen is like they need hazard pay or something. Because something is changing.
It's interesting because Paul said, that this is actually one of the conditions that will indicate that we're living in the latter days. This is 2 Timothy 3:1-4, Paul writes, realize this that in the last days difficult times will come. Now, we're living in difficult times and they are getting more difficult. Would you not agree with me? Life in this world is getting more difficult, we're living in a more and more dangerous world. It will continue to increase as we draw near to the end of the age. Then he describes the condition of things. Men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant. Is there an increase in that today? Revilers, disobedient to parents, it will be an indication of the latter days.
Ungrateful, unholy, unloving, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Now the answer-- Because family is one family at a time. The key is for us to be responsible for our family. We may not be able to fix all the families in this community but we can certainly address our family. That's why I am so excited about what God is doing in our church, men that are arising, families that are strengthening. The answer is to honor God in your own life and your own family, and then raise up your children in the admonition and the instruction of the Lord. Strengthen the roots of the family by strengthening the spiritual foundation. That's what's exciting to me.
B. Be honorable parents
Now, having said that there's two aspects that we should look at, let's start with parents, which is to say, let's be honorable parents. It says honor your father and your mother, it would be great if you were honorable. Let's be honorable parents. This as something that Paul actually wrote, and this is Ephesians 6:4, he wrote something similar. He said, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and the instruction of the Lord.” Every summer, I give a parenting class. We have summer classes all summer long. In this parenting class, one of the principles I give is this, raise your children in such a way that they will not need counseling later.
Let’s just start with that. Raise your kids that they won’t need counseling. Maybe we can even set our sight higher to bring our children to a place where there is agreement with our heart, agreement that we agree on the direction that we are going as a family. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. There’s agreement, isn’t it? As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. There’s agreement on that vision. In fact, Amos 3:3 says, “Can two walk together, unless they agreed?” That’s fellowship. That’s relationship. Agreement together.
Now, it’s interesting there in Ephesian 6, that Paul is writing to fathers. God wants fathers to be engaged in raising their children and I cannot tell you how many wives are asking for their husbands to be invested in their family. Wives today, mothers today want husbands to be invested in their family. I am absolutely convinced that’s true, which is why this is exciting to me when I think about this new discipleship thing that is happening with the life of the men in the church. That excites me. Men that want and desire to increase in spiritual things. The responsibility of being a spiritual man includes being invested in our families. I’m a big believer of that.
I’ll tell you, when I was younger, before we had kids, I wasn’t really into kids. I'll admit this to you. I wasn’t really into kids before we had one. That changed everything. Since we found out that she was pregnant, it’s like, I don’t know, something clicked. There was a switch that God had somewhere and it went switch. It was like, “I'm in.” I want to go to the doctor’s appointment. I’m going to record the ultrasound. I want to share it with my friends, "Listen to this," and I'm getting all excited. I was so excited. I told the doctor, “I want to deliver the baby myself.”
We had a doctor that was on the cutting edge of the birthing movement. You know what I mean? The birthing movement? They’ve been having kids free of that. What do you mean birthing movement? No, the modern birthing movement where it’s-- Okay, anyway.
We know that he was on the leading edge of this birthing movement, so I said, “I want to deliver the baby myself in the hospital.” He said, “Fine. You can. Two conditions.” I said, “Okay, what are the two conditions?” “First condition, if anything goes wrong, you step aside and I take over.” I said, “Well, I like that. That’s good. I’m fine with that. If anything goes wrong, you take over. That’s right, you’re the doctor.” I said, “You said there were two. What’s the second one?” “The second one is you’re still paying the same price.”
Okay. That was Nicole, our oldest, our first born. We were close. We were so close. All her life we were close. At Christmas time, we pulled out the old movies, finding the ones of Nicole. Many of you know, some of you don’t, but she’s dead now. She was killed. We were close. In fact, the evening before she was killed, we had hours, we sat at Starbucks for hours the night before, just talking about life, how to grow in her faith towards God, how to increase as a parent, how to increase as a life, just talking. I’ll never regret being invested ever. Build up, build up. If I encourage them so that they can become godly.
Raising up our children, sometimes there were tensions, sometimes there were struggles, but I would remind them, “Look, I’ll tell you why I’m doing what I’m doing. Because I love and I want you to see you become a godly man, a godly woman. I want you to raise up. I want you to be able to go on your own and go strong.” I trained them how to ride a bike. I’d run alongside of them, holding on to the back of the seat, just running alongside of them. “You can do it, you can do it,” trying to be careful when to let go and when not. Eventually, you got to let go and let them ride. I taught them how to drive a car. I’ve been in counseling ever since.
I taught them how to drive a car. The thing is, there comes a point in time they don’t appreciate me sitting in the passenger seat telling them how to drive anymore. We’re done with that. If I was to seat in the passenger seat and tell them how to drive, they’d say, “Dad, I got it.” In other words, you train them, you let them go believing that you aimed them well. I’ll tell you what, if ever my children had trouble, they would know right where to go. “Dad, I need to talk. I need wisdom. Give me some advice.” I’m so thankful. The role of the father is so important. We do our best to raise them up. Be honorable parents, let’s start with that.
C. Children honor your parents
Then it tells us, “Children, honor your parents.” Now there’s a role for the children. I’m convinced that that directive should be true all of our lives. I think we should always honor our parents no matter how old they are. Of course, as I said, there’s natural tension with teens. particularly. There’s struggles between us. I remember some of the conversations, “Dad, you know what the problem is? The problem is you don’t trust me.”
I said, “That’s the problem? No, the problem is you don’t trust me. I’m bringing wisdom to this parenting thing. God has asked me to bring all of the wisdom I have to this parenting thing. That’s my job. What’s your job? Your job is to honor your father and your mother and to listen to the wisdom that God is giving us to give to you.” Now, if there ever was a teen that really did know more than his parents, that would have to be Jesus. If He said, “Mom and dad, you don’t understand,” they really didn’t understand.
Scripture tells us He remained subject to them. Luke 2:30-51, they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them. Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was subject to them. His mother, she kept all these things in her heart. The Biblical instruction to honor your parents I am convinced should be done all our lives, whether they’re believers or not, or whether they’ve made mistakes. You need to know my story; my father made many mistakes.
When Jordi and I were finishing up Bible college, we were considering where we going to plant a church. We knew we were going to plant a church, but where? There was some discussion about us going to Seattle, planting a church there, but it just did not feel right. It just didn’t feel right for me, because I felt in my heart I needed to stay near my mom. She was getting older. I need to be near my mom. As she got older, I wanted to be there. I felt the conviction that this commandment is for all of us. One day, I called her and I said, “Mom, I'd like to have lunch with you every week.” She said, “I would love that.”
For several years, I would come to her place and she would have lunch made. Then she got older and I said, “Let me buy some lunch. I’ll just bring it." We had certain restaurants, and I'd call her asking, “What would you like today?” She would say, "Let's do this today.” I go to whatever place and buy it and come over, for years. Then her health began to decline. I became her medical advocate, going to every doctor's appointment, understanding every chemotherapy, she had cancer. At one point the doctors had run out of options. "We have no more options," and he's trying to explain this to her. Her name was Vivian, and it was very obvious that she wasn't listening.
He said, “Vivian, are you listening to me?” She said, “Just tell it to my son.” He turned to me and he began to explain, “We're out of options. We've tried this, we've tried this, we're out of options.” I said, “Okay, thank you.” On the way home, I said, “Mom, you weren't listening. Why were you not listening?” She says, “I don't want to be burdened. Just tell me what to do, where to go, what to take. It's enough that you know, I trust you. Just tell me what to do, I'll do it, I'm in your hands now.” Honor your father and your mother all your life.
One of the things, one of the last things that Jesus did on the cross before He died was to take care of His mother. He's on the cross, He's hanging on the cross. John 19:27, He said toward the disciple John, "Behold your mother,” From that hour it says, “The disciple took her into his home.” He took care of his mother.
II. You Shall Not Murder
Now let's go to the next commandment. You shall not murder. The sixth commandment assumes that in the heart of man there's great potential for anger and vengeance and thus violence. Now, this is not-- Let me clarify a reference to war or fighting in a war or even the execution of justice done by the courts. That doesn't mean that. In fact, it makes it clear that there are injustices that deserve capital punishment. Why does God say that there is not to be any murder? Answer, because man is made in the image of God.
A. Life is sacred
In other words, life itself is sacred. This is why He says it, life is sacred.
I've been to many countries in this world and it's a tragedy when you go to another country, another culture, when you recognize they don't value life here. There is no value of life here. People, humans are like cattle. There's no value of life, this is not right, and so he's establishing something important. Life is sacred, life is a gift given by God. Every person is made in the image of God. That makes life sacred. Genesis 9:6, He says, “Whoever sheds man's blood by man, his blood shall be shed for in the image of God he was made.” He connects the two.
Ecclesiastes 12:7, “The dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to the God who gave it.” It’s in the image of God. No one has the right to take life unjustly because man is made in the image of God and therefore sacred. That's one of the great tragedies of when our daughter was murdered. That a person could look at another human with such lack of value. It's unfathomable, we cannot fathom this, and then I want to add this. It's important to recognize life begins in the womb. A candidate for president was asked one time if he knew when life begins. He answered very diplomatically. He said, “That's above my pay grade.” Very diplomatic answer.
B. Life begins in the womb
Actually, it's above my pay grade too, but it's not above God's pay grade because God has said that life begins in the womb. He's got the highest pay grade of all. There is no one higher than God and He says, “Life begins in the womb.” Psalm 139:13-14, “For You, God formed my inward parts. You wove me in my mother's womb, and I will give thanks to You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works O Lord and my soul knows it very well.” I love that. Psalm 139 is a beautiful Psalm, but what a beautiful perspective. “O wonderful are Your works O Lord and my soul knows it very well.”
C. Don’t be angry with your brother
Then Jesus added, “You have heard it said, do not murder. I say to you, don't be angry with your brother.” He got right to the seed of the issue, didn't He? He got right to the crux of it right there? Don’t have anger in your heart. The seeds of murder are found in anger. Matthew 5:21-22, “You have heard that the ancients were told you shall not commit murder and whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court, but I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court.” Hey, we live in an angry world. Is that not true? We live in an angry world. I've never seen so much anger in my life.
In other words, it's not just the act of murder, it's the heart for which actions spring forth. Now, everyone, we all have experienced anger. All you got to do is drive on the highways for just a few minutes and you’ll experience anger. Although I will tell you, you drive on the roads in Africa and it will make you appreciate our country and our roads way better. They drive with one hand on the steering wheel and the other hand on the horn that's how you drive. It's like you want to talk about anger. He's touching on the point. We need a new heart, that's what we need. We need the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit brings that life of God. That's what we need.
When you love God above all else and you put God first in your life, you won’t injure anyone because anger is replaced with love. Instead of being an angry person, you'll be a loving person because God is love and His Holy Spirit, the Fruit of the Spirit is love.
If you know my story, my father was an alcoholic. He was abusive to my mom. He was an ornery old cuss. I've explained that and I was angry. I will tell you, it made me angry. I was a very angry young man, in fact, so much so. Now, I'll tell you, I'm embarrassed to tell you because it sounds so silly today, but I was so angry that I studied karate for years because I was going to take him out. How silly, that wasn't God's intent, that wasn't God's heart. God healed my heart and I forgave my dad. Forgive, forgive. Anger is a besetting evil that makes a prison of a person. Not only did I forgive him, God opened the opportunity for me to lead him to faith in Jesus Christ.
If I kept that anger, I could never have done that and I got to baptize him with my own hands. Pastor Ron mill was my pastor when I was young. He gave a great illustration. He said, “When I squeeze the toothpaste tube, shock of all shocks, toothpaste comes out, not mashed potatoes, not hair gel, toothpaste.” You know why? Because there's toothpaste inside. I love the illustration because when God is in your heart, when you're being filled by the presence of the Holy Spirit, then that's what's going to come out when life pressures bear down on you.
We need revival, we need transformation and revival. Jesus is our example, hanging on the cross because of the anger and jealousy of His accusers. What did He say? Luke 23 verse 34, Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them, forgive them. They don't know what they are doing,”
III. You Shall Not Commit Adultery
Then the next commandment, we'll just do three today. You shall not commit adultery. Our flesh does not like, "Thou shalt nots.” Our flesh doesn't like it. We didn't like them when we were kids. We didn't like our parents saying, "No, you shall not do that." We didn't like that. Something inside of us chafed at that, didn't it? If our parents said, "No, you cannot do it." We chafed, we don't like it.
We don't like it when we're adults. There's something inside that chafes, but He's giving this to them for their good. He gives it to us for our good, to keep us from destroying ourselves, to keep us from hurting those around us. It's because the flesh is always there, seeking to fulfill selfish desires. It's our flesh's nature to desire forbidden fruit. As soon as you say no, something arises in the spirit that says, "No, what?" "Can you point out what you said no to?" "Because I always say and I want it." You're saying, "No. All you're going to do is go on a diet." You know exactly what I'm saying.
As soon as you start saying, "No, I'm not going to eat," whatever, then all of a sudden, you have greater craving for it. "No." The flesh has no morality. The flesh has no sense of right or wrong. The flesh just wants, without consideration of the consequences, without thought to tomorrow, without thought of what they will cost. "Me want. Me want now. And me want women." That's the nature of the flesh.
A. Marriage is sacred
I remember listening to a pastor give a message on this and he said, "I like lobster. I don't care if the lobster is on my plate or your plate, I just like lobster." That's the flesh. "I just want." God knew, for that nation to be a strong nation, marriage must be honored. It's true today, isn't it? Marriage is not honored in our culture, in our society. I don't watch TV, because you know what's on there? A lot of disregard for God's things and God's institutions. Marriage is dishonored today, dishonored, but here's the thing; marriage is sacred, it's holy. Holy matrimony. It's holy.
You know why it's holy? Because God made it. God is the one who created, invented and gave us a gift, the institution of marriage. Life is sacred, that's the basis for protecting life. Marriage is also sacred. It's the oldest institution on the Earth, comes to us right from the Garden of Eden, comes to us right from the Garden of Eden. Genesis 2:18, "Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make him a helper suitable for him.’" At weddings, it's very common to quote Jesus, on Matthew 19:6, "So they were no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." That's a good word, that's a Holy Word.
B. Don’t lose your good sense
Why did Jesus give that instruction? Because it's for our own good. The one who commits adultery has lost his good sense. That's a great admonition, don't lose your good sense. Of course, Jesus added to it, didn't He? You have heard it said, "Do not commit adultery. I say to you, whoever looks at a woman lustfully in his heart." Don't do it. When the prodigal son spent his inheritance, what did he spend it on? World living, worldly living, women, parties. There's some great proverbs that we can apply to that. A fool and his money are soon parted, but also, on account of an adulteress, one is reduced to a loaf of bread. It makes a person very base.
Proverbs 6:32-33, "The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense. He who would destroy himself does it, wounds and disgrace he will find." The Scripture says, "Listen, marriage must be honored. It's God's, let it be honored." Hebrews 13:4, "Marriage is to be held and honored among all," he says, "and the marriage bed is to be undefiled, for fornicators and adulterers God will judge." Now, that's not the way the world sees it. That's not the norm of the world, but we're not in the world, we're in the Kingdom of God now. A whole different set of principles apply. We're in the Kingdom of God now. Amen.
We're in the Kingdom of God now, the whole different set of principles that apply. If you would trust God that He knows how to give you the most blessed life, the most blessed marriage, then listen to His heart. Jesus is the one who restores. Jesus is the one who forgives. Many people have failure in their life. Listen, many people have failure in their life. God is the one who takes people who have failed, and He makes them new. God forgives, God restores, God will not throw you away. Amen. God will not throw you away. He'll say, "Rebuild this thing. I will help you. I'll walk with you. Let's rebuild this marriage, let's rebuild this family, let's rebuild this thing."
Some couples say, they say, "Oh, we're growing apart." Well then, grow back together. Amen. Then grow back together and let marriage be honored. This I know. The woman caught in adultery experienced amazing forgiveness. "Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more." God's heart is to bless and the one who walks in faithfulness.