Introduction Exodus 20:3
Define putting anything before the Lord.
Most people believe that this command deals with only those acts of overt idolatry, but the truth reveals that it can be a choice that one does not consider to be idolatry at all. They deceive themselves.
I. The Setting Exodus 20:1,2
A. God’s gracious nature
B. God’s gracious actions.
C. Gratitude for grace.
II. Restraining grace.
Isaiah 10:13-14 For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man: And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.
Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
2 Timothy 4:10 “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica…”
1. Their appetites were tested by God. Exodus 16:2,3 They had not learned and even though they had said “all that the Lord hath said, we will do” –
2. Their hearts were turned from God by food. Numbers 11:4-6
C. Sensual passion Sex has been partnered with just about everything today because “sex sells”.
Job 31:24,25 If I have made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence; If rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much;
Job 31:28 This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.
E. Self The most common besetting sin – placing my will before God’s will!
Numbers 13:31-33 God had destroyed the power of Egypt, which was much more powerful than the Cananites, yet the people did not trust God.
III. Rewarding Grace
A. Possessing God. The fact that we have God!
2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
B. Loving God.
Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
Conclusion: God has declared that there are no other gods –
Isaiah 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
Man must create a god to place for Jehovah, which is an insult to God. This fact leads us to the second commandment
Exodus 20:4-6 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Read Exodus 32:1-6
The Second Commandment
I. The people’s ignorance.
A. Their situation. Compare Exodus 24:7, 15-18; 31:18
B. Their sin. Compare Exodus 32:1 with 20:1
1. They rejected the first commandment. They raised up Moses to God’s place.
2. They required images be created to represent God. Exodus 32:1-6
II. The Prohibition.
A. God did not prohibit art. Note that God gave the design for the Cherubim.
B. God did prohibt the creation of images that would represent Him. Images will –
1. Limit His inifinity.
2. Obscure His glory.
Refer to Isaiah 40:12-25; 44:9-20; Jeremiah 10:1-9
3. Localize His presence. Different cultures develope their own personalities for God.
III. The Practice.
A. Obedience to God’s command.
1. The Tabernacle. Exodus 33:7-11 National
2. The Temple. 1 Kings 8:4-11 National
3. The temptation Daniel 3:17,18 Individual
B. Disobedience to God’s command
a. Compare Judges 8:22-27
b. Compare 1 Samuel 4:4-11
c. Compare Number 21:8,9 with 2 Kings 18:4
d. Compare Exodus 32:1 with 1 Kings 12:25-30
e. Compare Leviticus 18:21; Deuteronomy 18:10 with 2 Kings 16
God had made Israel a peculiar nation, separated unto Himself. He would be their God and they would be His testimony. He blessed them and they rejected His blessing because His will did not satisfy their sin nature, their inclination to sin. Their purpose was self above God and they rejected His leadership.
Note: Numbers 12:1,2
1 Samuel 8:5-7
More rejection than obedience. It has not ended yet – Revelation 13:14,15
Exodus 20:7 The Third Commandment
Today we are looking at the third commandment. The first through the fourth commands deal with man’s relation to God. The fifth through the tenth deal with man’s relation to men.
We must see the truth set forth here – that in order to have a right relationship with people, you must build it upon the right relationship with God. We always return to the necessity of having the right foundation.
God has settled the issues anyone may have about other gods and idolatry in the first two commands. Now in this third command, He brings forth the matter of respect.
I. His name invoked in an oath.
A. The Lord’s name can be called upon in a right manner.
1. The Lord gave detailed instructions about vows and the responsibilities of those making them.
Leviticus 19:12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.
Numbers 30:2 If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.
Deuteronomy 10:20 Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.
2. The Lord Jesus instructed in being careful about calling upon the name of the Lord.
Matthew 5:33-37 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
B. Examples of those that swore in the right manner.
1. Jacob at Bethel. Genesis 28:20 and 31:13
2. Paul as he wrote to the church at Rome.
For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
2 Corinthians 1:23 Moreover I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth.
C. Example of one that swore in the wrong manner. Leviticus 24:10-16
1 Samuel 17:55 And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell.
Psalms 15:4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
Romans 3:13-14 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
What is it that is so important that His name must not be taken in vain?
II. His name identifies who He is.
A. He is omnipotent. Jeremiah 32:17; Job chapter 38
B. He is omniscient. Isaiah 46:9,10
C. He is omnipresent. Jeremiah 23:23,24
III. His name identifies what He does.
A. Jehovah Jireh. Provider
And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. (Genesis 22:14)
B. Jehovah Nissi Banner
And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi: (Exodus 17:15 )
C. Jehovah Shalom Peace
Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father’s young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: (Judges 6:24-25 AV)
D. Jehovah Roi The Lord my Shepherd
A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Psalms 23:1)
Man takes the glorious name of God and defiles it. He uses that name with no thought, no respect, no reverence. There is no fear of God! Man reveals his open rebellion against God through his taking God’s name in vain.
He uses it as a curse word – in anger
He uses it as an obscenity – in pain or shock
He uses it as a vulgarity – in common language.
God has warned that He will not hold one guiltless – He will bring judgment upon them.
Man can take God’s name in vain through actions. He may claim to be a Christian but live in open rebellion against God. No one would believe that he was a Christian by his life. He causes others to stumble at the gospel because of his testimony.
God is taking note. Are you guilty of taking His name in vain? Today should be the day of repentance and then – reverence.
Obey God in every area of life thereby giving glory to His name.
The Fourth Commandment
I. The Sabbath befor the Law. Genesis 2:1-3
A. God gave Adam only one law –
Genesis 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
B. God did not give Adam a law requiring him to keep the Sabbath.
Charles Feinberg states “If the Sabbath did exist, then it is more than passing strange that, although we find accounts of the religious life and worship of the patriarchs, in which accounts mention is specifically made to the rite of circumcision, the sacrifices, the offering of the tithe, and the institution of marriage, we should find no mention of the great institution of the Sabbath. It did not exist, for Moses says: Deuteronomy 5:1-3 And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye may learn them, and keep, and do them. The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb. The LORD made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day. Such a plain statement of the Word settles the question once for all.”
II. The Sabbath and the Law. Note the preparation for giving this law. Exodus 16:23,39
A. The Sabbath was to constanly affirm the special relationship between God and His nation Israel.
Exodus 31:13 Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the LORD that doth sanctify you.
Ezekiel 20:10-12 Wherefore I caused them to go forth out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them. Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the LORD that sanctify them.
B. The Sabbath had consequences, positive and negative.
1. Positive – promoted holiness. Exodus 20:8
2. Negative – revealed rebellion. Exodus 20:10 Refer to Number 15:32-36
III. The Sabbath and Jesus. Refer to Matthew 5:17; 12:9-14; Mark 2:23-28; John 5:9-16
A. Jesus respected the Law as an Israelite.
Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Romans 15:8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:
B. Jesus rebuked those that perverted the Law.
Mark 2:27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
1. The blessing – to revere God.
2. The burden – to revere man. Man became the center of the Sabbath. It was no longer about God.
The Talmud teaches that Rabbi Jehudah said: “If a man stepped into loam, he should wipe his feet on the ground and not on a wall.” But Rabha said: “Why should he not do that, because it might be presumed that he plasters the wall and is engaged in building? Nay; this is not ordinary building (but more like field-work). On the contrary: If he wipe his feet on the ground he may perchance smoothen out an incavation, hence he should rather wipe his feet on the wall. For the same reason, he should not wipe his feet on the side of an incavation, lest he smoothen it out.” The rabbis taught that a small man should not wear a large shoe, lest it fall off and he be compelled to carry it on the Sabbath. He may, however, wear a large shirt, since there is no fear of his taking that off and carrying it. A woman should not go out with a torn shoe on the Sabbath, lest she be laughed at and carry the shoe… If a person were in one place, and his hand filled with fruit put forth into another, and the Sabbath overtook him in this position, he would have to drop the fruit, since if he withdrew his full hand from one place to another, he would be carrying a burden on the Sabbath… A raddish may be dipped into salt, but not left in it too long, since this would be similar to making pickle. If on the Sabbath a wall had fallen on a person, and it were doubtful whether he were under the ruins, whether he were alive or dead, a Jew or Gentile, it would be duty to clear away the rubbish sufficiently to find the body. If the person were not dead, the labor would have to be continued; but if he were dead, nothing further should be done to extricate the body.
IV. The Sabbath and the Lord’s Day.
Charles Feinberg: “Every moral principle contained in the ten commandments has been reiterated under grace by the Spirit in the form of an exhortation with the single exception, Mirabile dictu, of the commandment to keep the Sabbath. The commandment to have but one God is reiterated in Paul’s statement: “There is one God.” The second commandment is found in the exhortation: “Neither be ye idolaters”; the third: “But above all things, my brethren, swear not”; the fourth is nowhere in the New Testament; the fifth: “Honour thy father and mother”; the sixth: “no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him”; the seventh: “whoremongers and adulterers God will judge”; the eighth: “Let him that stole steal no more”; the ninth: “Lie not one to another”; the tenth: “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you.”
The Sabbath, as part of the Law has been fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ. Since His resurrection, we come together, not on the seventh day of the week for rest but on the first day of the week to rejoice.
Psalms 118:22-24 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
The Fifth Command Exodus 20:12
Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (Exodus 20:12 AV)
It has been previously noted that the first four commands given have to do with man’s relationship with God. The following six commands deal with man’s relationship with man.
It is now important that we note that the first commanded which deals with man’s relationship with man is directed at the child’s honour of parents.
God has again directed us to give attention to the family. We have the tendency to turn our attention to those things which we consider to be immediate needs. It is not that we intentionally ignore the family, but it loses priority when we allow our agenda to be set by circumstances. We trust that the family is strong and therefore will wait the longest for us. As we can see, this is wrong thinking which is evidenced by the families that are being destroyed daily.
The family takes planning to build and maintenance to grow. Some newlyweds believe that nothing can break up their marriage – they are so much in love! It is sad when they come to the realization of the truth.
Work at maintaining your family. Listen to what God has to say. He instituted the family and understands how it will work. “Honour thy father and thy mother…”
I. The decree. Honour
1. The word focuses our attention on a person.
2. The person to be honoured in in a position of great value. Remember that word position!
1. We often hear people state “You must earn my respect”
This is a wrong attitude. It focuses on self rather than on others!
2. We are to give our respect.
a. There are times that the worthy position is filled by an unworthy person.
b. We are to determine to respect the position.
1). Some may say “My parents to do not deserve any respect”!
2). Be reminded that they do deserve respect because of their position, if not their person!
Remember the truth of Galations 6:6,7
c. Paul spoke too quickly and was rebuked because of this requirement by the Lord. Acts 23:1-5
3. Christians are to give – love, trust, respect, honour. Yes, we will be disappointed occasionaly, but we are to obey God and look to Him for strength and encouragement. See Psalm 73:1-3
II. The direction. Thy Father and thy Mother
A. To parents
1. Their position of authority is to be respected.
a. The penalty for rebellion against God was death.
b. The penalty for rebellion against parents was death. Leviticus 20:9
c. The parents are placed in authority over children by the authority of God. Rebelling against parents is equal to rebelling against God!
Roderick Merideth stated “In the eyes of a small child, a parent stands in the place of God Himself! For the parent is the child’s provider, protector, lover, teacher, and lawgiver.”
2. Their position is viewed in two manners.
a. As children, we are to obey them. Ephesians 6:2 (Age limit – marriage)
b. As adults we are to honour them. (No age limit to honour)
1). The Jews had a list of expectations of their children which showed reverent fear.
a). They were not to stand or sit in their parent’s place.
b). They were not to carp or oppose their parent’s statements.
c). They were not to call them by their proper names.
2). They had expectations which showed honour.
a). They were to provide food and rainment. (They had received the inheritance)
b). They were to escort them.
B. To elders in general.
1. The elderly people were to be shown respect. Leviticus 19:32
2. The position of age was to be repected even though the person and character was not known.
III. The dispensation.”…that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”
A. The promise.
1. To Israel
1). The inheritance was to be given to the one that looked after the parents.
2). The inheritance is a blessing. To give to the ungodly is to bless evil.
3). Notice the example of Jesus in fulfilling His responsibility to make sure His mother was cared for in the right way.
2. To all men. Ephesians 6:1-3
a. Paul wrote to the saints at Ephesus and repeated God’s command for honour and respect.
b. Paul wrote the promise which is of life itself. Christians are heirs of everlasting life and of that home that Jesus is preparing for all of those that have trusted Him for salvation. Romans 8:16,17
B. The practice.
1. What do you do to show honour to your parents?
2. What do you do to show respect to your elders?
3. What do you do to show respect to God? Look at God’s statement in Isaiah and measure ourselves by it.
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: (Isaiah 29:13 AV)
The Sixth Command Exodus 20:13
These four words have profound meaning which impact every level of society. We will examine this law today and I pray that in the process, we will see again he brilliance of our Majestic God reflected through His Word and in His command of order. He has set forth a law to provide man with freedom and safety within he may perform the will of God for his life.
I. The meaning of the Law.
A. The law was given to the nation of Israel.
1. The law set the boundaries for the individual.
2. The individual could live freely, without restrictions or interference within those boundaries.
3. The individual would be judged if the law was transgressed.
B. The law was executed by the government under the authority of God.
1. God established human government in Genesis 9:6,7
2. God ordained the government to judge and execute the sentences passed.
And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city, And said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the LORD, who is with you in the judgment. Wherefore now let the fear of the LORD be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the LORD our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts. (2 Chronicles 19:5-7 AV)
See also Romans 13:1-4
a. Judgment was carried out to the full extent of the sentence passed. Occasionally it was complete destruction of everything associated with a culture.
b. War was not to be carried out against creation and the enemy was to be given a chance to surrender.
When thou shalt besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by forcing an axe against them: for thou mayest eat of them, and thou shalt not cut them down (for the tree of the field is man’s life) to employ them in the siege: (Deuteronomy 20:19 AV)
3. God’s Law was given to the nation of Israel but His authority extends over all people and nations.
a. God used Israel to Judge certain nations. The nations that inhabited the land of Canaan.
b. At times, God used other nations to judge Israel. The Babylonians, the Syrians.
c. God used nations to bless Israel also.
1). Pharaoh, because of the influence of Joseph, gave Jacob and place to live in peace.
2). Cyrus, of the Medo-Persian empire, freed the Jews to return and rebuild Jerusalem.
d. The soldier, at the deputation and direction of his government, who killed a man while defending his country or while carrying out judgment upon another does not commit murder.
C. The illustrations of the law in action.
1. Refer to Leviticus 24:10-17
a. The law transgressed.
b. The judgment revealed.
c. The judgment executed.
1). The criminal died at the hands of society.
2). Justice was carried out by God’s ordained government, a group of people chosen to carry out the sentence.
2. Refer to Exodus 21:22,23
a. The transgression is in harming the pregnant woman, where the trauma induced labour.
b. The judgment is pursued if she or her child died – the guilty party would be executed.
c. God clearly teaches the sanctity of life, whether born or yet unborn – the judgment stands.
The Law clearly stated then that the person that was convicted of the act of murder would be killed – the death penalty is right and just – being ordained of God.
II. The message of the Lord. Matthew 5:21-24
A. The Lord raised the standard of the law from actions to thoughts. Vs. 21,22
1. Note that anger can be the right action at times.
2. Jesus is speaking of self serving anger.
a. This is the anger that leads to uncontrolled outbursts.
b. This is the anger that leads to murder.
c. This is a standard of equivelancy. It is equal to murder.
B. The Lord holds the believer personally responsible to act. Vs. 23,24
1. The remedy is to act quickly and not allow bitterness to take hold.
2. Even if you are not initially at fault, you will be in the wrong if you do not act to get the problem resolved. The question is “What have YOU done to get things settled”?
III. Man’s obligation to obey.
A. God has set forth His will to reveal to man the boundaries in which he can freely live and serve.
B. God has made it clear that when these bounds are crossed, He has established a plan to resolve the sin. I Corinthians 10:13; 1 John 1:9
C. God has warned us to obey and we will be free to have peace and joy.
When this law is followed, man may live in peace, secure in the knowledge that the fear of the lord will lead men to obedience to His will. It is when God’s law is interpreted to meet man’s standards that peace is no longer known, governments no longer act against the criminal, security is just a hope, and God is not feared. The fear of man comes to the forefront in decision making and chaos begins to reign.
As we have looked at this law today, you must admit that it is true, God’s way is the right way! This should not be a surprise to you, God is always right!
God has told us that we need to be saved. This is the right thing to do.
God has told the saved to be baptized. This is the right thing to do.
God has told the believer to study His Word and learn of Him. This is the right thing to do.
Isn’t it time for you to do what is right? Today is the day of salvation, baptism, or beginning study.
We do not have the right to vent our anger, to store up frustrations, to move toward murder in thought or in deed.
Do you want peace in your mind?
Do you want joy in your heart?
Do you want satisfaction in your life – at the end of each day to just be able to thank God for it?
Then follow God’s Word! He does mean it!
The Seventh Commandment Exodus 20:14
This commandment deals with integrity, honesty, and faithfulness. If you love God you will keep His commandments.
“My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:” (Proverbs 3:1 AV)
We should have a heart desire to know and keep the Word of God. God requires faithfulness and obedience is a testimony of our faith in God.
I. We are required to be a people of faith and integrity.
A. We come to God by faith.
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 AV)
B. We are saved by that faith. Ephesians 2:8-10
C. We live unto God by faith.
(For we walk by faith, not by sight:) (2 Corinthians 5:7 AV)
D. We serve God by faith.
Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. (1 Corinthians 4:2 AV)
If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15 AV)
Knowing God’s requirements of us to be faithful, we should know that being faithful extends to every area of our lives for all that we do should be unto the Lord, but we will continue to look at the principle of God’s law that we may have His will reinforced in our lives.
II. We are required to be faithful in marriage.
A. God’s intention is clear.
1. He created one woman for one man. Eve for Adam.
2. He commends the strong relationship between husband and wife.
Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. (Proverbs 5:18 AV)
Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 9:9 AV)
3. He condemns the man that divorces his wife. Malachi 2:14-16
a. She fulfills the place for which she was created. “Companion”
b. She has the promise of faithfulness to protect her. “Covenant”
B. God’s instructions are clear. Matthew 5
1. Divorce is not an option – it breaks God’s commandments. Vs. 31,32/Exodus 20:14
2. Jesus has raised the standard from acts to thoughts. Vs. 27-30 It is an offence!
III. We are required to be faithful to God.
A. Unfaithfulness to one’s husband or wife is unfaithfulness to God.
1. God has commanded that man be faithful.
2. Unfaithfulness is rebellion against God.
B. Unfaithfulness reaps severe consequences.
1. Under the Old Testament Law, the adulterer was executed.
2. Under grace is a warning and discipline if necessary. Read 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Paul rejects the fleshly man’s argument that appetites need to be satisfied.
a. The unrepentant are dealt with decisively. 1 Cor. 5:4,5,13; 2 Thess. 3:6,7,14.
b. The repentant are forgiven and restored to fellowship. 2 Cor 2:6-11; John 8:1-11
C. Unfaithfulness should frighten us, helping us to protect ourselves from ungodly actions.
How do we accomplish this? Become a faithful person in every area of life!
1. Faithful to God. His will, His Word, His Way.
Memorize Scripture to help you overcome your problem.
Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.
(Proverbs 6:25 AV)
I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid? (Job 31:1 AV)
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
(James 1:14-15 AV)
But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (1 Corinthians 9:27 AV)
2. Faithful to family – be a person of integrity – your word is good.
3. Faithful to others. A person that is trusted in the community.
Unfaithfulness brings only death and destruction! Look at King Saul and his rebellion against the will of God. His sons knew God, but they believed they must be loyal to their father and He got them all killed, destroying his entire family only one survived, and that only through the goodness of King David. Read the account in 1 Samuel, chapter 31.
Is that the legacy that you would leave your family – leave them to the ravages of sin? I hope not! Turn to God today in faith and be faithful!
The Eighth Commandment Exodus 20:15
This command is given in four words. The effect of these four words on our lives is tremendous. Every area of life is affected.
Just as when you climb high – you can see further; so as we mature we see how the tenents of this law multiply.
I trust that this morning we will receive the Word of God in all of His power and that we will yield to its changing of our thoughts, values, and most importantly – our character.
I. God teaches us the importance that He places on private and personal property.
The Word of God does not teach the practice of communalism or communism. If a believer gives of what he has to another that is a blessing, but demands cannot be made on the property of believers.
A. This is one of the primary lessons that children are taught, or at least should be taught.
1. They believe that they are the center of the universe.
2. They believe that all things are for their use and for their enjoyment.
3. They must be told “No! That is not yours!”
B. This is one of the primary lessons that men should remember.
1. Man, as a part of creation, does not own God’s creation.
And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. (Job 1:21 AV)
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
(1 Timothy 6:7 AV)
2. Man has been given responsibility to manage God’s creation.
3. We had better take care of it – it belongs to God! We will give an account to Him.
Refer to the accounting of the unjust steward in Matthew 25:14-19; 25-30.
C. The lessons would fill volumes, but simply stated we see two things –
1. Do not take that which is not yours.
2. Do not misuse that which you have.
II. God teaches us the importance of personal integrity.
A. To be responsible for what you have.
B. To be responsible for what your neighbor has. Deuteronomy 22:1-4
1. People do not want to get involved in other people’s lives.
2. People are required by God to be involved, else they are guilty of robbery.
C. To be responsible to God’s laws of restitution. Exodus 22:1-17.
In many modern legal systems, a criminal may be found guilty of a crime and will be punished, but while the law provides for punishment, it does not provide for restitution. The victim must bring a civil suit in order to try and have property and damages restored. God’s law included both punishment and restitution.
Zacchaeus practiced restitution after he got saved.
1. The whole value was to be considered. 22:1
2. Both life and property value were considered. 22:2,3
a. At night, personal protection was condoned.
b. At daylight, confusion in the dark was no longer a problem, the thief could be identified and apprehended.
c. Being caught, he would make resitution immediately or he would work it out according to the law.
3. The law required double restitution for simply robbery. 22:4
4. The law required restitution of that which was taken or destroyed by accident or deliberately. 22:5,6
This is inlcudes the whole value – as in point one
5. The law dealing with restitution for goods kept by others. 22:7-13
a. By neglect or by embezzlement.
b. No restitution was required if no neglect is proved. This was according to one’s word.
6. Restitution is demanded to pay for items damaged or destroyed that you have borrowed. (as with borrowed books)
Note: Do we see how God is protecting His people from having quarrels in the community? They knew what God’s standard was and could live together in harmony because there was only one standard to be applied to all men. God is no respecter of persons!
Each person was to measure himself by God’s standard thereby having a community of integrity.
When Achan stole and hid items, he destroyed the integrity of the community resulting in the death of 36 men in a battle that they should have easily won!
III. God teaches us the importance of reliance on Him.
A. God will supply all of our needs.
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
B. God will use the work of a man’s hands to supply his and others needs. Ephesians 4:8
C. God will use the testimony of a changed people for His glory. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
The Ninth Command Exodus 20:16
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”
This command, like the others, has implications in every area of our lives and throughout our entire life.
The command grows in import from the simple concept of not lying to the complex interaction in community and having a loving and compassionate care for neighbors.
It is used in the age-old arguments dealing in ethics of absolutism where a person never tells a lie for any reason at any time to that of liberal situation ethics where only the immediate circumstances establish the standard of right and wrong.
It is the measure against that pseudo-righteous truth teller that demands the truth and the whole truth for others and yet rejects the Lord Jesus Christ who is “the Truth”, the defining value and absolute of truth itself.
It is also the measure and judge of those incorrigible liars that do not even know the difference between the truth and a lie. Everything they say is justified by the moment and is not valid for what happens afterward.
This command is of great importance to us as it will be used by God to change our character as we meditate upon its meaning and application to our lives.
I have prayed that I will be able to present this message in simplicity and that we may understand well what God is saying in this command.
I. We are not to lie. Some would restate this command as to say “Thou shalt not lie”.
A. God states clearly that we are not to lie. rqv sheqer sheh’-ker = false not based on fact
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. (Ephesians 4:25 AV)
B. God states how we are to become truth tellers.
Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
(Colossians 3:9-10 AV)
1. The ability to put off the old man and put on the new is only available to the child of God.
2. Resolutions to change and live a good life are works of the flesh which God does not accept. Good works from the unfaithful are meaningless to God.
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (Isaiah 64:6 AV)
3. The change actually comes through yielding our lives to the Lord and transformation of our lives through His Word.
This message of God’s Word should transform your way of thinking today if you are a Christian, born again through the blood of Jesus Christ into the family of God. If it does not affect you, you should check to see if you are truly saved!
II. We are not to harm. While the command certainly does intend the child of God to be a truth teller, it means more than this. See also Proverbs 6:18,19
A. God reveals that there can be a difference between lying and bearing a false witness against a neighbor.
1. He sets forth seven things that He hates.
2. These two traits are noted separately.
a. Lying is noted as the second item.
b. Bearing false witness is noted as the sixth item.
B. Is there a difference between being a truth-teller and a teller of all that you know?
1. The truth can be used as a sword of destruction against another persons character.
Refer to Proverbs 11:13; 1 Timothy 5:13; 1 Peter 4:8
a. The “truth” is often used in business, politics, and even in family to destroy a persons character! b. People set out to search into people’s lives and dig out the untold truth about them.
1). Their stated motive is that others deserve to know the truth.
2). Their actual intention is to destroy the person in the esteem of those that are looking to them for leadership, comfort, or help.
c. Are their times that this is necessary? Of course! Jesus warned the people against following the examples of the Pharisees. They were hypocrites and were only interested in self. Note that Jesus never attacked them for personal actions. He used their actions against them, but did not expose them!
1). Refer to the woman taken in adultery.
2). The Pharisees had no qualms about exposing the sin of the woman, but Jesus did not retaliate, He simply challenged them to know their own lives.
3). The Samaritan woman’s sin were revealed only to her personally – she told others!
2. God has already revealed what is in man.
a. As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (Romans 3:10 AV)
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23 AV)
b. Note what the Apostle Paul said about himself.
For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no
more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (Romans 7:15-19 AV)
3. What would we do if we knew that God was going to reveal all that He knows about us tomorrow?
a. Consider if God was going to make known to the public not only all of what you have done but all that you have thought.
1). All of the secrets of your thoughts, imaginations, fantasies.
2). All of those things that you thought no one would ever know.
3). All of those things that you forgot yourself.
4). You see, God has perfect knowledge. He knows all!
b. You panic and cry out to God “You promised that you would forgive and forget”!
1). You had great comfort in the knowledge that your secrets had been forgiven and put in what God called the “sea of forgetfulness”
2). Now you find yourself in a dilemma.
a). You count on the promise of God that He cannot lie.
b). You count on the fact that God will not tell all that He knows – even though He knows the truth.
c). You count on the fact that the witness of the truth would actually be a false witness because you are not that person anymore. You have changed! God has changed you!
3). You throw yourself on the mercy of God and cry out “Why would you want to hurt me by telling this truth?”
You say “I am not bearing false witness because what I am speaking the truth! , BUT what is your motive? You are not seeking the good of the person, your neighbor – you are seeking to destroy him in the esteem of the people. The Sword of Truth has become a sword of shame and pointless destruction.
What do we do then – what is expected of us? We are not to lie, and we are not to bear false witness!
Has the testimony of the person involved shown that God has changed them?
Have you examined your own life before the Lord to make sure that you are not attacking, but you are being a help according to the Word of God?
If the truth is compelling and you believe something must be said, you are to go to the person prayerfully and privately, seeking their good and the good of the community.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. (Exodus 20:17 AV)
I. The definition of covetousness.
A. The definition is twofold.
1. Covetousness is commonly associated with ones thoughts and emotions.
2. Covetousness completes itself in the performance of the thoughts.
3. Covetousness is both thought and action, and is complete and due to be judged by God whether acted upon or not.
B. The difference in the commandments.
1. The laws dealing with actions, Thou shalt not kill, steal, bear false witness, are acted upon once the offence has been committed.
2. The law of coveteousness is acted upon based on the individual’s thoughts which may or not lead to actions.
3. This law reminds man that God is Judge. He knows the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Matthew 5:21-22 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
C. Covetousness is judged by the object that it is directed to.
1. Evil covetousness.
a. David was covetous of Uriah’s wife. II Samuel 11:14-17 Uriah was killed. The war was used as the weapon.
b. Ahab was covetous of Naboth’s vineyard. I Kings 21:1 Naboth was killed. The law was used as the weapon.
c. The Pharisees were coveteous of the applause of men. Matthew 23:5-7
d. Some church leaders were coveteous of their own positions. 3 John 9,10
e. Some preachers were coveteous of Paul’s position. Philippians 1:12-18
2. Good covetousness.
But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
(1 Corinthians 12:31 AV)
a. Do you want to know God’s Word as well as your teacher does? You should!
b. Do you want your supervisors position? Then work hard to make him look good so that he will be promoted and you will follow him up the ladder of success
II. The danger of covetousness.
A. Destroys family unity.
B. Breeds animosity between neighbors.
1. People not content with what God has provided them.
2. People measure themselves by what others have. Israel’s sin in wanting a king.
For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. (2 Corinthians 10:12 AV)
C. Leads in developing corruption in governments.
1. Remember the example of Ahab. Your land is more convenient than mine, so give me yours, for the good of the kingdom.
2. What is mine is mine and what is yours is also mine.
3. Governments are constantly accusing one another of some type of fraud, trying to put the other government in the position of giving away its secrets.
III. The effect of covetousness.
A. God has declared His law against it. Exodus 20:17
B. God has determined a judgment for it.
1. We are to love the Lord.
2. We are to live that love for the Lord.
3. The measure of the love is shown in the law.
a. We are not bound to keep the law because we are not the nation of Israel.
b. We are bound to the principles of the law which are revealed in His Word. See Romans 7:8,9
c. Living according to that love, we will not transgress these laws.
d. We are not then judged as law breakers or law keepers.
e. We and our works are judged on the basis of our love for God.
Philippians 4:10-13 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to
be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Do you do what you do because you love God?