Richard Agee

Exodus 20: Ten Commandments

Richard AgeeThere are so many sermons, books and testimonies out there about practical application of the 10 Commandments. In one way, there isn’t much that hasn’t already been said, but in another way, there’s so much here that there isn’t enough time in the universe to dwell upon all the applications and ramifications of these simple commandments. This simple list of 10 basic commandments give us insight into how God views us, our political institutions and our families.

In one way, there isn’t much to talk about but in another way, there’s so much here.

The first commandment says, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me.” We are not to have any other “gods” in our face or put them in His face. If we put our face towards another god, we put our attention towards another god, than we aren’t paying our full attention to God.

We are not to presume that God has any likeness, the image of God is His word. He doesn’t want them to make any kind of image of him, not with gold, silver, a painting, an engraving or a picture. Gold and silver are the most precious materials on this earth and yet God says don’t make an image of Him with these precious materials.

The spirit is like the wind, it can go wherever it wants. You only see the results. You have no control over it. It’s just there. What does that look like? The wind is not something you see, it’s something you experience.

Many people are confused about this phrase, “… visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing loving-kindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” (Ex. 20:5) There are some Christians who teach that we are inflicted with “generational curses” that may have occurred many, many generations before us. This is an erroneous teaching.

How many of you knew or have photos of your great-great-grandparents? Very few. We never knew them personally or had any fellowship with them.

When a person dies their sins go to the grave with them. The sins may be observed by the second, third and fourth generations of a family but the fifth generation is removed from it. They have no memory of that first generation. Their sin has nothing to do with you.

Yeshua died for all the sins of the world, not just for a few generations, but for all generations. God’s mercy does not stop, it goes on to myriad of generations of those who love Him and keep His commandments.

“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” (Ex. 20:7)

This is not just a prohibition of using His name as a curse word. It’s more than that. It also refers to taken a vow or an oat using His name that you don’t intend to honor. That causes offense to His character and His name.

The Fourth Commandment is about the Sabbath. It reads very simply:

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.” (Ex. 20:8-11)

There’s a difference between work and labor. When Yeshua was healing on the Sabbath He was technically “working” by the interpretation of the rabbis but it’s an overly large fence around the sabbath. Their fence was so high and broad that you could not even try to be a blessing to anyone else on the Sabbath.

When the Bible says to, “Honor your father and mother.” What is that? Respect, to see your parents as God sees them, to see them as more important as yourself. You honor the position. We can see the example of David and Saul. Saul was trying to kill David and although David had the right to protect his own life, he never did any physical harm to Saul. He had to keep himself separate from Saul for the sake of his own life but David never forgot that Saul was the king.

This commandment is in effect regardless of how old the children are and regardless of whether the parents are dead or alive.

The commandment not to commit murder also extends to anger and hatred of another, as Yeshua tells us.

The commandment of “not bearing false witness” isn’t a reference to lying about eating a cookie your mother told you not to eat. This is in a court of law where you say something in court to cause someone to have to pay a fine or even get the death penalty.

The commandment not to covet is the most difficult commandment to understand, but it simply means that when you see what your neighbor owns, you are not to want to take it from them for yourself or for someone else. In recent years, Americans have heard our politicians argue over whether the government should be in the business of “redistribution of wealth.” They argue over whether it’s the government’s job to smooth over income discrepancies between the wealthy and the poor. You may have also heard people make comments like “They shouldn’t have that much money” or “No one needs that much money” about those who very wealthy with material wealth. The people who say such things are in a spirit of coveting. It’s not coveting if your neighbor owns a nice car and you go out and buy yourself the same kind of car. A spirit of covetousness would say, “He doesn’t need that car.”

You are presuming to have the right to judge how your neighbor spend his money, the money that he earned, that God gave him.

God tells the people in Ex. 20:24 to make an altar to him of earth and stone. He said not to put a chisel to it. If you chisel and polish a stone, it’s the artist gets the honor, not God. It’s the altar that makes the gift valuable, not the gift that makes the altar valuable.

Reader: Jeff. Speaker: Richard Agee. Summary: Tammy.


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