(Deuteronomy 10:12-13, 17, 21 & Hebrews 13:8 – NIV)
In the final speech Moses delivered to the Israelites before his death, he reiterated again to them all the miraculous things that the mighty God had done for them – despite all their rebellious behavior – about which he also reminds them. Then he says “And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?” “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.” “He is your praise; He is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13, 17 & 21)
There are people that try to discount much, or all of the Old Testament teachings. They believe after Jesus came and sacrificed His life that the teachings of the Old Testament are no longer relevant. But that is far from the truth. It is the history of the Christian faith so should never be viewed as useless to us now. The Ten Commandments are from the Old Testament, but are still critical for helping to influence human behavior even today. They are considered by many to be the basis for moral behavior. Although they are not specifically used in the United States constitution, they are many times used for the basis of court decisions, from the Supreme Court down.**
We do not discount our history books that teach us about how life progressed after the founding of the United States and even before that. The lessons to be learned from all history – good and bad – are important for us to know about. It is set before us so that we can build on the good and hopefully learn from and not repeat the mistakes. But we know of course, that is not how it is too much of the time. We as humans never seem to learn the hard lessons of our forefathers – just as the Israelites were – we can be “stiff necked.” We think we know better and continue to shoot ourselves in the proverbial foot.
Thank goodness though, our God never changes – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) He continues to love us and bears with us. But if we go too far, we can expect discipline as well – just as the Israelites suffered discipline – repeatedly.
If we find ourselves in that proverbial situation where we are wandering in a desert, being beat up by our perceived enemies, hungry and thirsty, we need to take a long serious look at our life. We need to determine how and when we got derailed. Did we start putting careers or possessions or even other people before God? Sometimes it requires that we take a really hard and sometimes painful look at ourselves. I can tell you from personal experience that at times it can produce a really unflattering picture.
The good news is that God never stops loving us – never stops desiring our companionship – never stops wanting our love in return. But, we need to confess to Him what we have allowed to interfere in our relationship with Him, ask for forgiveness and set ourselves back on the track, prepared to move forward with Him first in our lives. He is always there, ready to welcome us back.
**Liberty University Law Review – Volume 3, Issue 1, Article 3 – The Use of the Ten Commandments in American Courts – Issued in 2009 and written by John A. Eidsmoe
Written by Karran Martin – February 2019