Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Mon, 07/12/2009 – 12:32
Bible Book: Exodus / Eksodus
Chapter: 20
Verse: 1 – 17
Exodus 20:1-17

[The format of the Ten Commandments as we find it in Exodus 20, reminds us of the agreements which were often made between kings of conquering countries and the vassal states in Old Testament times. These agreements usually started by the king informing the vassal what he had done for their country. Then the conditions are stipulated according to which the vassal will be protected. Blessings and curses are stipulated following respectively the adhering to the conditions or ignoring the conditions. Lastly the king and the vassal would eat together.]

The Ten Commandments were not intended to be a frightening list of conditions which God’s children had to adhere to. Rather, because God had saved them from slavery in Egypt and promised to protect His people, these laws promised freedom to the children of Israel. We, living in the times after the Reformation, pride ourselves in echoing the four “Solas” – Only Christ, Only Faith, Only Scripture, Only Grace. Yet, our actions and our words in the church often prove the opposite. Many Christians, in the way in which they view the law, are still legalistic. For them the Ten Commandments have been given, mainly to condemn.

In a time of AIDS it is so easy to condemn. It is so easy to point fingers at those who have been affected and to quote the Ten Commandments to strengthen our case. While it may be true that many of those infected with HIV had become infected because of disobedience to the law of God, Jesus also showed us in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) that there is not even one who can claim that they have not been guilty of disobeying His law.

Those who are already suffering due to being infected by HIV, do not need to hear, once more, how guilty they are before God. They need to hear the promise of the Ten Commandments, that God, who had saved His children from the slavery, also cares and loves them and also wishes to lead them into freedom. Once people grasp the enormity of this love, it becomes possible for them to bow down before this God who had saved them and to live a life of thankful obedience.

To think about (or discuss): How can we move from condemning people to embracing them?

Author: Ackerman D (Dr) and Lundo J
Language: English