W.I.S.H. – Weekly Insights for Spiritual Health
The huge number of freed Hebrew slaves, trying to become a nation, needed structure, guidance, order and discipline. That was the goal of the law, and the reason God gave Moses and the people the 10 Commandments (and the entire law in the Old Testament which is 613 commandments). While the 10 Commandments are timeless, much of the rest of the law, given later, no longer applies to us.
The 10 Commandments help us in our relationship with God, and in our relationship with others. The first 4 Commandments focus on our relationship with God:
1. There is one God; you shall not have any other gods.
2. You shall not have idols (false gods).
3. You shall not use God’s name (YHWH or LORD) in vain.
4. Honor the Sabbath day.
These four commandments pertaining to our relationship with God will keep us on the right track and will keep our relationship with God active and healthy. These commandments do not seem particularly demanding, but the compromise of them can be very subtle. These first four commandments make it very clear that God comes first in life: ahead of family, ahead of nation, ahead of political affiliation, and ahead of the pursuit of personal priorities, pleasures and preferences.
If we keep these commandments our relationship with the LORD will have a foundation of health. If we neglect them our life will begin to lose focus, balance and prioritization. When something becomes a higher priority, value, or loyalty to us than God, we have supplanted God and inadvertently created a form of an idol.
When asked what is the most important commandment? Jesus replied, “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30). These four commandments are the beginning steps to our learning to know and love God.
Pastor Rob Nystrom