Have you ever been teaching your children a life lesson and BAM! right there in the middle of the lesson you get a prompt in your spirit and the Lord speaks to your heart? Almost like a big clearing of the throat “Uhmm Hmmm” sound to get your attention and a then a loud “HELLO, I have been trying to teach you the same thing!” I have had many of those moments! I love when God teaches me something this way because I seem to get it more clearly and it sticks deeper with me.
Recently, I have been frustrated with my teenagers when I ask them to do some things and I later come back to find out they did not do them. They pick and choose what they will obey. They are small things, like asking them to put away the dishes,and two hours later they are still not done. Or: I ask them to clean their rooms and the next day their rooms look as though the hurricane switched course and came back around for another sweep of destruction. Or: the trash man is barreling down the road and I glance to the road to find the trash cans which I had asked them to take to the road are nowhere in sight.
These are all little things and sometimes not of any big significance, but I like to explain to my kiddos that it is all a big deal, because it shows when they obey the command and not treat it as a suggestion, they are honoring the authority of their parents and building integrity. Sometimes, when I remind them and ask if they have unpacked their backpacks, or made sure they have that homework project finished, they brush me off and snap back “We Know, We Got It”…I then say to them “This is a command not a suggestion, we don’t pick and choose what we do and don’t do” hundreds of times like a broken record and then there it was. God interrupted me with his loud throat clearing sound and the loud “HELLO, Michelle!”
How many times do we read or know God’s commands and we pick and choose or treat them as a suggestion?
Just to simplify:
Command=Order given by one in authority.
Suggest=mention or introduce for consideration or possible action.
There is a huge difference in these two definitions. Of course, it did not take me long to immediately think of God’s lists of commands in the Ten Commandments, (given to Moses on Mount Sinai and listed in Exodus 20 & Deuteronomy 5…)
God’s Ten Commandments:
1. Do not worship other gods.
2. Do not worship idols.
3. Do not misuse God’s name.
4. Keep the Sabbath holy.
5. Honor your father & mother.
6. Do not murder.
7. Do not commit adultery.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not lie.
10. Do not covet.
We all know them. We might even think we are safe because we haven’t done or don’t do the “Really Big Ones” anymore. Some may even think the Bible is outdated and not relevant to today so they are not really commands, just mere suggestions, on how to be a good person. Again, we pick and choose instead of obeying them all. But if you live by a Biblical worldview and are a believer in Jesus Christ, His love letter to us, The Bible, is very much still relevant today and His word is not a mere suggestion, it is a command to follow and obey.
Thankfully, God is a gracious, forgiving and merciful God. He will not strike you down for breaking these. That is where repentance comes in and that is between you and God. If you ask Him for forgiveness of your sin, He will not turn you away, but instead receive you with grace. That is a Life Lesson for another post. Today, let’s take each commandment apart, one by one shall we?
Do not worship other gods
There are lots of gods with a small “g”. There are the gods of job, food, drugs, alcohol, people, approval, fame, money. But we know there is only One big “G” God – The Lord Almighty. We are to worship only Him.
Because you must not worship any god except for Me. My name is Jealous, and I am a jealous God.~ Exodus 34:14
Do not worship idols
Anything that takes more importance or our attention than we give to God is an idol.
You are not to make any idol or image of other gods. In fact, you are not to make an image of anything in the heavens above, on the earth below, or in the waters beneath. ~ Exodus 20:4
Do not misuse God’s name
Many may think of the obvious one. I call it the GD word and it is very offensive to me. I do not like to hear it at all. It has always been an “ear sore” to me. But did you know saying “Dear God”, “Oh Lord”, “Oh My God”, “Jesus Christ”, or “Jesus”, as a slang word or frustration or in any other way than calling on or speaking of the Lord in reverence is misusing God’s name?
You are not to use My name for your own idle purposes, for the Eternal will punish anyone who treats His name as anything less than sacred. ~ Exodus 20:7
Keep The Sabbath Holy
The Sabbath was made for the needs of human beings, and not the other way around. ~Mark 2:27
You and your family are to remember the Sabbath Day; set it apart, and keep it holy.~ Exodus 20:8
Honor your father & mother
Honor-To hold in respect; esteem
You are to honor your father and mother. If you do, you and your children will live long and well in the land the Eternal your God has promised to give you.~ Exodus 20:12
Do not murder
Self-explanatory, but did you know that to hate another is also equal to murder?
You must not murder ~Exodus 20:13
Everyone who hates other members of God’s family is a murderer… ~ 1 John 3:15
Do not commit adultery
Adultery-Consensual sexual intercourse between a married person and a person other than the spouse. To even look after another person with lust is committing adultery.
“You must not commit adultery.~ Exodus 20:14
You may think you have abided by this Commandment, walked the straight and narrow, but I tell you this: any man who looks at a woman/man with lust has already committed adultery in his/her heart.~ Matthew 5:28
Do not steal
If it is not yours; don’t take it.
You must not steal.~Exodus 20:15
If you have been stealing, stop. Thieves must go to work like everyone else and work honestly with their hands so that they can share with anyone who has a need. ~ Ephesians 4:28
Do not lie
Anything other than the whole truth is still a lie
Do not testify falsely against your neighbor.~Exodus 20:16
Hidden things will always come out into the open. Secret things will come to light and be exposed. ~ Luke 8:17
Take note, there are six things the Eternal hates; no, make it seven He abhors:
17 Eyes that look down on others, a tongue that can’t be trusted,
hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that conceives evil plans,
feet that sprint toward evil,
19 A false witness who breathes out lies,
and anyone who stirs up trouble among the faithful.
Do not covet
To want or desire what someone else has.
You are not to covet what your neighbor has or set your heart on getting his house, his wife, his male or female servants, his ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.~ Exodus 20:17
Although these are just the main commandments, the Bible is full of so many more…What we need to remember and trust is that God’s commands are all full of His love and for our ultimate good – just as we teach our children. Let us be sure that we are not picking and choosing between them and treating God’s commands as mere suggestions or options. May we all learn to hear that loving “Uhmm Hmmm” – sound from our Heavenly Father and be quick to obey.
XXOO Michelle Bollom
My son, do not ignore the Eternal’s instruction or lose heart when He steps in to correct you; Because the Eternal proves His love by caring enough to discipline you, just as a father does his child, his pride and joy. ~ Proverbs 3:11-12
But I will be very kind to people who love me and obey my commands. I will be kind to their families for thousands of generations. ~Exodus 20:6