Reflections on God's Law

1. Do not have other gods.

Who is like God? He knows everything. He knows what happened in the past and what will happen in the future. He hears all of our thoughts. There was never a time when He did not exist. He is everywhere, and yet He is present with us in a personal way. He provides for all our needs. His plans for us are all good. He is our Father. We are His beloved children. Do not have other gods.

2. Do not have idols.

An idol is anything other than God that we worship and reverence. An idol is anything that we allow to supplant God's rightful place in our life. We have chosen an idol when we follow someone who tells us to do something that is against what God has told us in the Bible. We have chosen an idol when we give the first fruits of our labor to anything other than God. Having an idol is like someone who is married who takes a ring from someone other than their spouse and places it on one of their fingers. Do not have idols.

3. Do not misuse the Lord's name.

God's name represents His character. To use His name along with unclean or careless expression is no different than what the Babylonians did when they filled the golden utensils from God's temple with beer and wine, and then drank from them during their partying. They had no knowledge of or respect for God. God's name is something Christians take on in the same way a wife takes on the name of her husband. Misusing God's name occurs when we claim to be a Christian, but we live a life contrary to His character. Do not misuse the Lord's name.

4. Keep the 7th-day Sabbath (Saturday) holy.

The Sabbath is a weekly remembrance of God as the Creator. As we reflect on the wonders of His creation, we more fully appreciate His unseen qualities. The Sabbath is a day to set aside the cares and demands of the world and to rest in the spiritual dimension--a dimension that is sadly repressed during the other days of the week. The Sabbath is a day for family bonding and collective worship. The Sabbath is a day for healing and ministry to those who are in need. The Sabbath is a day for sharing the knowledge of God with those who do not know Him. God separated the 7th day for a holy purpose, a regular period of spiritual refreshment. Seventh-day Sabbath keeping is an identification mark of God's remnant people. Keep the 7th-day Sabbath holy.

5. Honor your parents.

The parent-child relationship is a significant part of God's creative plan. We are deeply thankful for the love and joy of this sacred heritage. Our parents have cared for us tenderly and unwaveringly. When we disappoint them or rebel, they are always ready to forgive and to restore. Who we are and what we know has been deeply shaped by their loving influence. They have nourished us with our most precious treasure--our personal knowledge of Jesus. Honor your parents.

6. Do not kill.

The greatest gift of all is the gift of life, which we have all received from God the Creator. From the infant in her mother's womb to the aged man who is in the grip of death, life is sacred. The greatest form of robbery is to take someone's life. We would not want someone to come and kill us. How brutal and beastly that would be. Likewise, we must be careful that we do not kill another. The Bible tells us that hate is a form of murder. The only difference between a seed and the grown tree is time. Do not kill.

7. Do not commit adultery.

During the first week, when God instituted the weekly Sabbath remembrance, He also instituted the marriage relationship between a man and a woman. In the Bible, God tells us that the relationship between a husband and his wife is patterned after the relationship that Jesus has with His bride--the church. Just like we are to be faithful to God, so are we to be faithful to our spouse. Jesus told us that lustful thoughts are a form of adultery. A husband and a wife are not to have a marriage kind of relationship with anyone else. To help prevent problems, the Bible tells us that husbands and wives are to continue to be kind and loving to each other so that neither feels neglected. Do not commit adultery.

8. Do not steal.

The 4th commandment tells us we are to work six days every week. God provides for all our needs, but He does expect us to do our part through working. If we need something, we are to work for it, rather than taking it by force or in secret. We would not want someone to take something from us that we had worked very hard to earn. Neither should we steal from another person. The first fruits of all our labors are to be given back to God. If we neglect to do this, then we are stealing from God. God has also given us talents that we are to use to help build His kingdom. If we keep them buried and idle, then we are also stealing from God. Do not steal.

9. Do not give false testimony.

We are not to tell lies or make up false stories about other people. Neither should we participate in conversations where these kinds of stories are being promoted. If we do not know whether something we hear is true or not, we should not spread it around to others. Sometimes, when we do something wrong, we try to place the blame on someone else. This is wrong. Do not give false testimony.

10. Do not covet.

Coveting is selfish and greedy. We should not want to get something that belongs to someone else. We should not want anything that God has forbidden. Coveting leads to stealing, adultery, false witness, disobedience of authority, and murder. Coveting is the root cause of all sin. We should be thankful for and satisfied with what God has provided for us. We should make the most of what we have. Do not covet.