The Ten Commandments
Prior focusing on the interpretation of purpose as well as the meaning of the magnificent laws of love, it must be noted that only one passage demonstrates this rigid eternal nature of the Ten Commandments. In Matthew 5:17-18 it reads, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till Heaven and Earth Pass, one jot or one tittle shall in No Wise Pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled.” The main purpose of the Ten Commandments as the basis of laws is to point out sin as Apostle Paul informs people in the book of Romans 7:7. Below are more on each commandment in brief which can help in understanding them as part of the legalities that people need to follow.
The Ten Commandments
The first commandment talks about Loyalty. In this commandment, God declares himself as the God and the deliverer and asks people to demonstrate their love for Him through not serving other gods. This First Commandment presents the initial series of four which define the relationship between man and God. Establishing, developing as well as the sustaining personal relationship with the true God is the most stresses commitment people can take (Goldman, 1956). This provided the basic focus of the first of the Ten Commandments; (You shall have no other gods other than me). Therefore, people must love, honor as well as respect God since he is the supreme authority and model of lives. Therefore, people should not have any excuse for not serving and obeying him.
The second commandments deal with Worship. The one and only true God loves people to the extent that he is jealous of people’s love and does not like to share the love with people bowing down to other idols. This commandment deals with crucial aspects such as how people need to perceive God, how people can explain Him to themselves and to other and the rightful way to worship him. It is, therefore, a constant reminder that only people, among the created things, are in the God’s image (Swedenborg, 1794). Only people can get transformed into spiritual image of Christ, who is the real spiritual God’s image. This law protects people’s special relationship with God, who created them in His image and into His spiritual likeness.
The third commandment focuses on Reverence. In this law, God asks people to give respect to His Holy name and avoid using it in vain. This commandment bases on respect. It deals with people can communicate their feelings about God to other people as well as to Him (Smith, 2014). This law entails people’s attitudes, speech as well as behavior. Respect is seen as vital in healthy relationships. The relationship quality depends on the love as well as regard people have for GOD. The relationship also depends on how people express respect to Him before presence. On the other hand, using God’s name in a flippant, degrading or in a disrespectful way destroys the relationship. This varies from careless disrespect to hostility as well as antagonism.
The fourth commandment focuses on Sanctification as well as the relationship. “Remember” is the word that God starts off with in this Commandment. The reason is that people do forget. God asks that we keep it set apart for holy purposes so we can draw nearer to Him (Swedenborg, 1794).This Commandment on keeping the Sabbath ends the Ten Commandments section that particularly defines a healthy relationship with God. This law is also a special sign between people and God and that it is Him who sanctifies people.
The fifth commandment focuses on respect for parental authority. In this commandment, God directs people to show love for parents through giving honor to them. This commandment introduces a series of commandments which define appropriate relationships with fellow human beings. This commandment to the last one serve as conduct standards in human behavior that lead to many consequences on people, families, groups as well as society (Smith, 2014). Families remain key social building blocks that lead to robust nations. If they get fractured and flawed, results are always tragic and reflected daily. Any person, group or nation that knows the vital nature of robust families harvests the prizes of enhanced relationship as well as blessings from God. This Commandment shows people from whom as well as how respect and honor fundamentals are effectively learned. It gives guidance to people to know ways of yielding to others, how appropriately submit to authority as well as how to accept mentors’ influence.
The sixth commandment focuses on respect for human life. In it, God directs people to show love towards others by not killing. People need to learn ways to control tempers. Ending other person’s life is presented as rightful, and this judgment remains a reserve for God alone. Therefore, it prevents people from willfully or deliberately taking away the lives of others. This Commandment reminds people that God gives life, and he is the one with authority to take it or give permission to take it (Carmichael, 1985). Therefore, this commandment wants people to go beyond averting murder. It demands to avoid malicious harm to other people in words or deed. Perhaps it is the reason why John said that any person who hates his brother is a killer: and he has eternal life in him. (1 John 3:15). This commandment demands that people treat even enemies respectfully and try all the best to maintain harmony. This commandment demands people to be developers and, not destructors of healthy relationships.
The next commandment focuses on purity in relationships and interactions. It requires people to show and demonstrate love for partners by avoiding adultery which is the marriage covenant violation through willful involvement in sexual activity with people other than the spouse. Basing on the fact that the laws of God sanction sexual relationships solely in a legal marriage, this command covers all sexual immorality. People need support as well as the companionship of a caring spouse, and hence, they need special people to share ups and downs, success as well as failures (O’Donovan & O’Donovan, 1999). Currently, the Society does suffer because it has lost the God’s vision for marriage from the start. Many people desire and wish for the benefits of a strong marriage. As a way of returning to the intentions of God, people must avail marriage with deserving respect.
The third last commandment focuses on the virtue of honesty. This commandment instructs people to show love and respect for others through not illegally taking what their belongings. This commandment safeguards people’s right to acquire legally and own property. This commandment wants this right to honored and protected. This command balances the approach to material wealth. It allows prosperity and enjoyment to physical materials. Therefore, it is vital that generosity and not greed motivates people’s choices. Since they God’s qualities, people need to put giving as well as serving before lavishing possessions on personal satisfaction.
The ninth command talks about truthfulness in dealings. Loving others need to mean avoiding deceit. As a way of fully appreciating this commandment with the prohibition of cheating, it is important for people to realize how vital the truth is. Therefore, this command requires people to do everything in life that is anchored in truth. It, therefore, wants people as children of God, to commit them to truth and show it in all they do.
The last commandment puts emphasis on contentment. Through it, God warns people against coveting since it has a high potential of entrapping people into big sins. Coveting is craving or desiring, particularly in excessive or negative ways. This does not tell people that all desires are bad. It informs people that some desires are not good. To covet is an immoral longing for something which is not rightfully our possession (Brooks, 1990). This is always based on the fact that the object of our desire belongs to other people. Similarly, coveting also encompasses our desiring far more as compared to what we would legitimately qualify for or that would be a rightful share. This commandment’s focus is that people are not supposed to desire illicitly whatever that belongs to others. The inverse of coveting is a healthy desire to assist others preserves and protects blessings acquired from God. People need to rejoice when others get blessed or prosper. People’s desire need be to contribute to others’ well-being, to make their presence in their lives a value to them. This command directly aimed at the heart as well as the mind of each person. In the process of prohibiting coveting, it describes not so much what people need to but how people must think. It demands people to focus deep within them to see what they are from the inside. Similar to each of the other nine commands, it directs towards people’s relationships. It particularly focuses on the thoughts that are threats to relationships which have the potential to destroy people and neighbors. Hence, it remains suiting that the ten foundational commands formal listing that defines God’s love, need to end by examining our hearts as wellsprings of relationship issues. From inside comes the desire that tempt us and lead people against the commands.
To conclude, the Ten Commandments found in the Holy Bible present a typical law situation in the society. The law is aimed at ensuring peaceful coexistence of people and the inability to follow those leads to problems in the society. These commandments have been vital in providing a basis for laws in different jurisdictions. The moral law, in particular, is an aspect that directly comes from this part. These commandments are important in shaping society, particularly regarding crime control. A society that is rooted in these commandments is always less characterized with a crime. Therefore, following them can help the society in addressing some social, political as well as economic problems.
American Bible Society (1962): The Holy Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments. New York: American Bible Society.
Brooks, R. (1990). The spirit of the Ten Commandments: Shattering the myth of rabbinic legalism. San Francisco: Harper & Row.
Carmichael, C. M. (1985): Law and Narrative in the Bible: The evidence of the Deuteronomy laws and the Decalogue. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Goldman, S. (1956): The Ten Commandments. Chicago: University of Chicago Press
O’Donovan, O., & O’Donovan, J. (1999): From Iranaeus to Grotius: A Sourcebook in Christian Political Thought. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans.
Smith, L. (2014). The Ten Commandments: Interpreting the Bible in the medieval world
Swedenborg, E. (1794): A general explication of the ten precepts of the Decalogue: Extracted from the Apocalypse explicate, a posthumous work of the Hon. Emanuel Swedenborg. London: Printed by R. Hindmarsh, Printer To His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Old-Bailey.