October 6, 2019 at 9:15 am · naltadonna · 0 comments
This Sunday we wrapped up our sermon series on the Ten Commandments called Set in Stone by looking at the last four commandments.
“Do not kill.” Exodus 20:13 All humans are made in the image of God, which means that when we harm another person, we harm the image of God. All life matters to God. This commandment was given in a tribal society, where people feared for their lives as different tribes conquered each other. Some of us may wonder how this command relates to us today. However, we aren’t as different from the ancient Israelites as we would like to think. Our society is filled with violence. This commandment invites us to consider how we might change the church to be the sort of place that produces and supports nonviolent people. Jesus expanded this commandment to include that if you hate or resent another, you have killed in your heart.
“Do not steal.” Exodus 20:15 Stealing is taking something that is not ours without the owner’s permission. If you have ever been stolen from, you know the fear, anger, and feeling of being violated that theft causes. Stealing harms people and hurts the community. This command protects people’s property, but it also was given to protect the poor. In the Promised Land, everyone was given a parcel of land. There was no reason to steal because the community took care of each other and everyone had enough.
“Do not testify falsely against your neighbor.” Exodus 20:16 This commandment extends further than the courtroom to include lying in any form. Gossip and rumors can be forms of bearing false witness. This commandment speaks to the power of our words. Our words have the power to be weapons of destruction or the building blocks of community. God is a God of Truth, and as followers of Christ, we are called to be a people of truth and honesty.
“Do not covet.” Exodus 20:17 To covet is to crave and strongly desire anything that belongs to someone else. We could covet another’s possessions or even covet someone else’s personality traits. You perhaps have heard it said that comparison is the thief of joy. Comparison and coveting are closely linked. Coveting is the thief of joy too. It can lead to jealousy and resentment, and it can be quite harmful for ourselves and our relationships with others.
All four of these commandments can be summed up in this way: Love your neighbor as yourself. When we love our neighbors, we start to see them as God sees them- as beloved and worthy children of God.
- Monday- Exodus 20:13-17
- Tuesday- Genesis 4:1-16
- Wednesday- Matthew 5:21-26
- Thursday- James 3:1-12
- Friday- Psalm 19:1-14
Questions to Consider and Discuss:
- How does is disobeying these commandments cause harm to one’s neighbor? Community? Self?
- Which one of these commandments do you struggle with following the most?
- How is God inviting you to love your neighbor this week through these commandments?