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UCGia Bible Insights Thursday, June 17 2021

The irrelevant commandments

Some see God as a harsh judge who wants to keep people bound by the repressive parameters of the ten commandments, but He is our Creator and knows what is good for us.

by Steve Myers

A 2018 study asked which of the 10 Commandments were still considered principles to live by. Only three commandments were singled out: the commands not to murder and steal and also the command not to bear false witness or lie. This indicated what the majority of the public feel are the fundamental standards of behaviour. A later survey just highlighted two commandments --- do not murder or steal.

The Bible is clear the 10 Commandments are the foundation of God's law and the best way to live and develop a relationship with God: ‘Oh that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever!' (Deuteronomy 5:29).

The biblical commands are there to save us from the suffering wrong choices bring, but humanity as a whole has tried to figure out right and wrong by trial and error. Even observing just one of the 10 Commandments would have a monumental effect on the world for good. What if no one ever lied, but acted with love and concern, seeking the best for others? If no one stole there would be no need for locks on doors, or keys for cars, and even firewalls and virus protection would not be needed on our computers.

The results from the survey also showed most regard the fourth commandment, "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy,” as the least important. 73% considered it insignificant. The Bible says the seventh day of the week is the Sabbath, not Sunday. Jesus Christ set the example by observing the Sabbath, and never once said the church had the authority to change the Sabbath to Sunday. Mark 2:28 tells us Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, so followers of Jesus Christ should also observe the Sabbath from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.

In Matthew 22 Christ took those 10 amazing laws and summarised them. First of all we are told to love God with all our heart, soul and mind, which summarizes the first four commandments. Then Christ said to love our neighbor as yourself, which is a summary of the last six.

God’s commandments teach us the way to love God and others. Rather than just dealing with actions they go right to our attitudes and motivations. The challenge for us is to understand the spiritual significance of God's commands.