I AM THE LORD THY GOD;
THOU SHALT NO HAVE STRANGE GODS BEFORE ME
The 10 Commandments
The Ten Commandments were given to Moses on Mount Sinai from God Himself. These divine laws and rules were 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 true fulfillment. In His infinite wisdom, God knew that we would need guidelines derived from a correct moral compass; helpful rules and restrictions that would lead and guide us in the way we should go, the way to the Promised Land.
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 has been awhile since you’ve prayerfully reviewed the 10 Commandments, or even if this is a regular reflection of yours, take this precious moment with God to review His commands again. Humble yourself and listen for His voice, what He may want to convey to you. Take comfort knowing that when you draw near to God (and His Word) in humility, He will also draw near to you (James 4:8).
The 10 Commandments
1) I AM THE LORD THY GOD: THOU 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”
*10 Commandment explanations (“commands” and “forbids”) from EWTN.com; Catholic Church