When thinking about the Ten Commandments, many view them as a bunch of outdated rules that we must follow to make God happy. Others, feel as though they are an impossible list to keep, so they don’t even try. Some even view them as God’s attempt to keep us from having fun. Many people misunderstand what the Ten Commandments are, but if we understood the context in which they were given they would truly come alive in a way we’ve never seen them before.
Right before God gives Moses the law, He says something profound in Exodus 19 that most of us miss. In verse 5 God calls Israel His “treasured possession.” The language God uses there is almost exclusively wedding talk. In that culture this phrase would often be used by a groom as he addresses his bride during their ceremony. And girls, who of you wouldn’t just melt at the thought of being called a “treasured possession,” right?
The Ten Commandments, and actually the whole entire law, are in fact a love letter from God to the Israelites. God said, “Look at everything I have done for you. I swept you up out of Egypt. I rescued you, I’ve taken care of you. I know what’s best for you and I know what you need to have a full and satisfied life.” And then He gives them the law and shows them how to have that fulfilled life. It’s as if God is “defining the relationship”. These are the commandments He has laid out before us, and we are called to uphold them. If living in communion with Him, we should WANT to uphold them. At times we will fail, but we are to get back up and try again, and again, and again.
We’ve started a series on the Ten Commandments at Youth Group for two reasons. First, I outlined above: most people have the wrong idea when it comes to what they are. And the second is this: 74% percent of Americans can name all three stooges, 35% of Americans can name all six kids of the Brady Bunch, 25% of Americans can name all seven ingredients in a McDonald’s Big Mac, but sadly, only 14% can accurately name all Ten Commandments.