Summary and Application
The Ten Commandments
(Exodus 20:1-17 NKJV)
God’s holy law. To some it speaks of bondage and restriction. To others it is a mystery—a seemingly unimportant document supposedly given by a mythological god in a dry, deserted wasteland during the reign of the Pharaohs. However, for others the law of God is holy, filled with eternal significance. For them God’s law is a living document given by a merciful and loving God to reveal to mankind His character, designed to ensure the happiness and stability of humanity.
On Mount Sinai God revealed Himself in the unmatched majesty of both judge and law giver. In the preamble to the law He also showed Himself to be the compassionate guardian of His people: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Exodus 20:1).
God showed Himself to be Israel’s Guide and Deliverer. They watched with awe as He brought them out of Egypt, and opened a path for them through the Red Sea, burying Pharaoh and his vast army in that watery grave. The God had thus shown Himself to be above all the gods of Egypt―He it was who now, in thunderous tones, spoke His law and wrote it on the tablets of stone with His own finger.
But the law was not spoken exclusively for the benefit of the Hebrews. God honored them by making them the guardians and keepers of His law, but it was to be held as a sacred trust for the whole world. The precepts of the Ten Commandments are adapted to all mankind, and were given for the instruction and government of all. Ten precepts―brief, comprehensive, and authoritative, cover the whole duty of man to God and to his fellow man. And all are based upon the great fundamental principle of love. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27). In the Ten Commandments these principles of love are revealed in great simplicity and made applicable to the condition and circumstances of man.