The Rev. Know-it-all’s “Young Christian’s Guide to Halakhic Law.” Droning on and on.
If the theory is right that Moses only came down the mountain with ten laws, why were these first ten so special?
These commandments reflect the very nature of the Almighty. The first three are 1-3 “I am the Lord your God, have no other gods before me, take not the name of the Lord your God in vain and remember to keep holy the Sabbath.” These three commandments remind us that God alone is God. He is one, He is sovereign and He rightly demands our worship.
The others are about His nature in relation to us.
- · 4 “Honor father and your mother.” The Supreme Being is the perfect Family, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. “For this reason I fall on my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.…” (Eph. 4:15)
- · 5 “ Thou shalt not kill.” God is the author of life. Then,
- · 6 “Thou shalt not commit adultery. God is Faithfulness. “The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow…” (Psalm 110:4) Faithfulness, unbreakable union, perfect oneness, are the heart of the faith of Israel. The Supreme Being, Chritians claim, though perfectly three is perfectly one.
- · 7 “Thou shalt not steal.” “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17) God does not steal. Rather, God is the giver of all good things.
- · 8 “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” Let God be true, and every human being a liar. (Romans 3:4) God is truth., and Jesus said “I am… the truth.” (John 14:6) When Pilate asked “What is truth?” Jesus said nothing. His very nature was the answer to Pilate’s question.
- · 9 & 10 “Thou shalt not covet” things or relationships.
What’s with all this coveting business. Everybody covets now and then. You’ve got murder and theft and adultery in the big ten. What’s so big about coveting?
To covet in Hebrew is tahkmud, and can mean to desire. In English the word covet means “…to wish for earnestly, or to desire (what belongs to another) inordinately or culpably.” "God is love" (1John 4:16) and “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Lev 19:18) If God is sacrificial love, we should never confuse desire with love. God is the perfect giver and to desire what He has not given is to say the He is not love, He is generosity itself. The great artist delights in the art of another as much as he delights in his own. The great musician recognizes the beauty of another composer’s work. The truly beautiful person admires the beauty of another. It is the small soul who wishes the failure of another. God is not in competition with His saints, He is glorified in them just as a good parent glories in the successes of his children.
So, each of the Ten Commandments reveal the divine nature and cannot be altered because God does not change. God is bound by no law except His own being, His own nature. These commandments, the mirrors of God’s own being are immutable. He alone is God, He is the author of family, the giver of life, the only one on whom you can unhesitatingly count, He is generosity, He is truth, and He is the giver of grace. Unity, family, life, faithfulness, generosity, truth, and grace — that pretty sums up God, and pretty much sums up Jesus of Nazareth.
Me? — divisive, a self-interested loner, self-destructive in my habits, faithful as long as it suits my interests and pleasures, materialistic, dishonest and jealous of others. That pretty much sums up who I and my generation are.
A very long time ago, I wrote that Jesus fulfills one of the mitzvoth (commandments of the law) by becoming bread, and by bread becoming the Messiah and that we only had 612 more laws to explain. Now we only have 602 to explain.
This may take a while.