Day twenty: Exodus 20
“Isn’t Christianity just a bunch of rules?”… “Don’t you have that big list of rules… like the 10 commmandments or something?”… “Wow, I thought Christians were all boring!”… In my journey as a Christian these are questions and statements that I’ve been asked in a lot of contexts in multiple stages of my life, and I’ve known people to use today’s chapter to fuel their interrogations.
Exodus 20 features the ten commandments and maybe you’ve heard them before, but there’s a sentence right at the start that I think is one of the key verses: “Then God spoke all these words”. Before we even hear the following commandments, it’s important to stop and realise that the words we’re about to read are coming straight from God. God never speaks words to damage or discourage us, His words are always full of encouragement, love and challenge because that is who God is!
Then we have the 10 core rules of the Old Testament which really can be summed up by the answer Jesus gives when asked ‘what is the greatest commandment?’ in Matthew 22 – Love the Lord your God, and love your neighbour. The first 4 commandments point to God, the last 6 point to others.
These commandments are not a boring list of rules, there are core to God’s heart – relationship with us and treating others well. If at any point in my life I’ve felt a bit lost or lacking purpose, I go back to them… you can’t go wrong if you live to love God and love others wherever you are in life.
When God speaks, I want to act. When He says something, I know it’s best for me to hear it even if it means changing how I live.
The commandments also point us to the bigger story. They lead us to appreciate our imperfection. While we always should strive for growth, we’re not perfect, it doesn’t take long to realise that! But that’s what Jesus was. He kept all the laws and provided the means to accomplish the law.
Come and see what God has done.
Question for today: What’s one way you can love God or love others today?