Psalm 19, ©Mark Hewitt
The commandments were a rule of life to guide the people of Israel along their journey to becoming the nation that was promised to Abraham. The commandments were to offer structure and guidance to a life of wandering. Communities to which we belong have rules or guidelines to help us be together. These rules are not meant to be oppressive; they are meant to ensure that everyone’s rights are respected. For us here in Australia most of us live lives where our rights are respected. The rules around us to keep us safe, are being honoured. Many of the rules are so commonplace we forget we are following them.
Do the 10 Commandments have a place today?
Yes – they inspire us to set goals for right living.
Their spirit – their essence needs to filter across all that we do. So all are kept safe.
As there are still plenty of places the vulnerable are not safe.
Psalm 19 (NRSV)
The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.
In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom from his wedding canopy, and like a strong man runs its course with joy. Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them; and nothing is hidden from its heat.
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is pure, enduring for ever; the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20 (NRSV)
Then God spoke all these words:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. For six days you shall labour and do all your work.
Honour your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.
When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and stood at a distance, and said to Moses, ‘You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die.’ Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.’
Draw closer to us,
our God, Rock, and Redeemer,
for our travels have made us thirsty,
our trials have made us weary,
our tribulations have pushed us apart;
leaving us longing for the guidance and instruction that only you can provide.
-©Seasons of the Spirit