All of the ten commandments can be summed up in one word and that is respect. We are to respect God and we are to respect one another.
Exodus 20:3 You shall have no other gods before Me.
The Lord God is our Creator and he deserves our respect. We should have no other gods before Him.
Exodus 20:4-6 You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
The Lord has made us for Himself and is a jealous God and does not want us to worship that which is false. There is no comparison to Him. He is the only true God. The Lord does not want us to make any likeness of Him for then we would consider that likeness to be holy and would be honoring it as if it were God. This quickly can lead us astray.
Exodus 20:7 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.
Do you say “OMG” then you are taking God’s name in vain. Or saying something like “Oh my _ _ _”. These sayings are not wise nor are they pleasing to the Lord. Who knows how many people are experiencing God’s punishment for taking His name in vain. Don’t take any chances. The Lord takes this very serious. No other commandment does He say that He will punish the evildoers but this one particular commandment. His name is holy and He wants us to respect His name.
Exodus 20:8-10 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you.
The Lord gave you a day of rest each week. If you are stressed out and exhausted then ask yourself, “Am I honoring the Lord on His holy day?”. The early church set aside Sunday as the sabbath to worship Christ and to rest. This means that it is not “Family Day” or “Sunday Funday”. We are to show respect to the Lord on His day…this means no work nor do you pay others to work for you such as waitresses, grocery store workers, etc. The Lord said no one is to serve you on His day.
Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.
This is the first commandment with a promise. Show respect to your parents. Even if you don’t want to respect a person you should always respect their position. Your parents are sinners and you may not always feel that they are worthy of your respect. Respect them anyway out of respect for the Lord. If you have parents that are worthy of respect then you need to thank the Lord every day for them.
Exodus 20:13 You shall not murder.
The Lord has called us to respect human life. Abortion is murdering babies. The Lord also said that if we have hatred in our heart then that is the same as murdering someone in our heart. We are all guilty of all of the commandments but there is forgiveness with the Lord if we confess our sin to Him then He will forgive us.
Exodus 20:14 You shall not commit adultery.
Have you ever lusted in your heart for someone? The word “lust” means in the original language “desire”. Have you desired in an inappropriate manner anyone other than your husband? If so, then you have committed adultery in your heart. Keeping this commandment is respecting other people and their relationships.
Exodus 20:15 You shall not steal.
Have you ever cheated? Then you have stolen what is not yours. Do you always pay what you owe even when the person would not be aware of it? Do you ever use something and then return it to a store as if it had not been used? Do you pilfer from your employer? What you do in secret is who you are. If you steal then you are a thief and are not respecting what belongs to others.
Exodus 20:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Do you ever lie to someone because you are afraid to tell the truth or do you tell a lie to make yourself look good? If so, then you are not respecting your neighbor.
Exodus 20:17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
The Lord does not even want you to desire what is not yours. A great test for this is do you rejoice when others have something that you have always wanted? Respect for others is not even wanting what they have but being content with what the Lord has given to you.
Matthew 5:19a Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven;
Do you believe that the ten commandments do not apply to today? Then you need to take seriously what our Lord said and that is, that whoever annuls one of the least of these commandments and so teaches others shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:19b but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
On the other hand, whoever keeps and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of God.