Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Exodus 19, 20, 21 The Ten Commandments

In this 1768 parchment, Jekuthiel Sofer emulat...Image via Wikipedia

When I was in grade school, my friends and I decided to form a club that would be very secret and exclusive by nature.  When we met in the defunct chicken coops in my best friend’s back yard, we tried to create order and meaning for our club.  One girl wanted each of us to pay ten cents a week as club dues so that we could raise money for something; another one wanted to meet so that we could have a private place to discuss school.  We were four girls who didn’t really know what we wanted to do, but we finally  agreed that our club had to have rules.  So, rule number one was ” No boys allowed”.  I forget the other rules.  Even as kids, we immediately understood that when individuals become a group, they devise laws to define themselves.

In the third month, after the Israelites left Egypt, they arrived in the Desert of Sinai.  Over the past few months, the Israelites witnessed God working and fighting on their behalf numerous times:  the plagues affecting the Egyptians but not the people of Israel; the parting of the Red Sea; the manna from heaven;  water flowing from a rock; winning the battle against the Amalekites in Rephidim.  The nation of Israel experienced God’s powerful and miraculous work. 

While Israel camped at the foot of Mount Sinai, the Lord called Moses from the mountain and spoke to him.  Over the course of these three chapters, God gave Moses the Ten Commandments which defined Israel’s relationship with God and with each other while separating them from all other nations.  God gave Israel laws which dignified them as a nation.

Many of these Commandments lay the foundation for laws that govern countries today.  “You shall not murder” establishes the inherent value of life.  In most societies murder is considered a heinous crime, often punishable with a death sentence. 

But on a different note, a joyful and interesting commandment is to “ remember the Sabbath”, the seventh day of the week.  (Though Christians celebrate the Lord’s Day, Sunday, as a day of worship, it is not the Sabbath.  Sunday is the first day of the week while Saturday is the seventh day of the week.  In terms of the Commandments, Saturday and Sunday are very different and not to be confused.  Interestingly, Christians were not specifically told to observe the Sabbath because it was part of the covenant with the Jewish nation)  Anyway, the Sabbath is a day of rest because,

“ For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in      them, but he rested on the seventh day.  Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath Day and made it holy.” Exodus 20:11

This is an amazing law.  God created a twenty four hour period which is eternally holy, set apart for God.  When we wake up on a Saturday morning, we live and function in a holy period of time.  The Law requires all Jewish people to refrain from any work during these twenty four hours so that they could focus on God and rest in eternity for that day,   which basically means spending time in God’s presence.  Even though, our world owes God and this fledgling Jewish nation acknowledgement and thanks for the two days we get off every week, most people today don’t recognize God for providing respite. 

It’s ironical that evolutionists insist on their understanding of life’s origins while happily enjoying God’s provision for he Sabbath rest, created because God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. 
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