The 10 Commandments
The Ten Commandments were given to Moses on Mount Sinai from God Himself. Divine laws and rules put in place out of a deep love for mankind—and for mankind’s ultimate benefit. The truth is, God wants you to have a wonderful life — a life filled with peace, joy and fulfillment. In His infinite Wisdom, God knew we would need guidelines. Helpful rules and restrictions to lead and guide us in the way we should go.
In His famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus very pointedly stated:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law [Commandments] or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until Heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these Commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these Commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matt 5:17-19).
And Jesus’ instruction to obey The 10 Commandments continues to apply to each one of us today. They are still God’s expectations—and they are still for our benefit!
If it’s been awhile since you’ve prayerfully reviewed The 10 Commandments or if this is a regular reflection of yours, take this precious moment with God. Listen for what He might say to you or what He may want you to think about. And, take comfort knowing that when you draw near to God (and His Word), He draws near to you (James 4:8).
The 10 Commandments
1) I AM THE LORD THY GOD: THOUGH SHALT NO HAVE STRANGE GODS BEFORE ME.
Commands: faith, hope, love, and worship of God; reverence for Holy things and prayer.
Forbids: idolatry; superstition; spiritism; tempting God; sacrilege; attendance at false worship.
2) THOU SHALL NOT TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD THY GOD IN VAIN.
Commands: reverence in speaking about God and Holy things; the keeping of oaths and vows.
Forbids: blasphemy; the irreverent use of God’s Name; speaking disrespectfully of Holy things; false oaths and the breaking of vows.
3) KEEP THE SABBATH HOLY.
Commands: Going to Church on Sundays and Holy days of obligation.
Forbids: Missing Church through one’s own fault; unnecessary servile work on Sunday and Holy days of obligation.
4) HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER.
Commands: love; respect; obedience on the part of children; care on the part of parents for the spiritual and temporal welfare of their children; obedience to civil and religious superiors.
Forbids: hatred of parents and superiors; disrespect; disobedience.
5) THOU SHALT NOT KILL.
Commands: safeguarding of one’s own life and bodily welfare and that of others.
Forbids: unjust killing; suicide; abortion; sterilization; dueling; endangering life and limb of self or others.
6) THOUGH SHALT NOT COMMIT ADULTERY.
Commands: chastity in word and deed.
Forbids: obscene speech; impure actions alone or with others.
7) THOU SHALT NOT STEAL.
Commands: respect for the property of rights and others; the paying of just debts; paying just wages to employees; integrity in public office.
Forbids: theft; damage to the property of others; not paying just debts; not returning found or borrowed articles; giving unjust measure or weight in selling; not paying just wages; bribery; graft; cheating; fraud; accepting stolen property; not giving an honest day’s work for wages received; breach of contract.
8) THOUGH SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS AGAINST THY NEIGHBOR.
Commands: truthfulness; respect for the good name of others; the observance of secrecy when required.
Forbids: lying; injury to the good name of others; slander; talebearing; rash judgment; contemptuous speech and the violation of secrecy.
9) THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR’S WIFE.
Commands: purity in thought.
Forbids: willful impure thought and desires.
10) THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOR’S GOODS.
Commands: respect for the rights of others.
Forbids: the desire to take, to keep, or damage the property of others.
“A scholar of the law tested [Jesus] by asking Him,
‘Teacher, which Commandment in the Law is the greatest?”
[Jesus answered] him, ‘You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first Commandment.
The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” -Matt. 22:35-39.
*10 Commandment explanations (“commands” and “forbids”) from EWTN.com; Catholic Church