The Ten Words deal with perennial sins. Idolaters are everywhere all the time. We all hate, lust, envy. Poison of asps is under our lips too. The Ten Words are addressed to us because they are addressed to everyone.
But what use are all these detailed commandments? Why do we need to know that God told Israel not to cut altar stones with tools and not to build altar steps? Can’t we skip ahead to passages that apply to us?
For starters: All Scripture is God-breathed, given to train us in righteousness. We may not see immediately how these commandments apply, but as we meditate on them we are equipped for every good work.
God says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Without specifics, we decide for ourselves what it means to love. But we don’t know the first thing about love, so God adds: If you break the lawnmower you borrowed, pay for it. If you dig a pit make sure you cover it so no one falls in. If you see your enemy’s ox wandering, send it back to him.
God speaks specifically to interfere in the details of our lives, because He knows how ignorant and weak we are. He speaks specifically to humble us, to transform us into men and women of God by His Word and Spirit.
posted by Peter J. Leithart on Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 5:31 am
Permission is given to use material on this site, provided the source is cited, blog entries are republished in full, and the author is notified in advance.