In the Beginning

Underlying Principles of the Ten Commandments The Ten Commandments are sometimes viewed as God’s basic standard for determining acceptable con­duct. The commands seem clear. However, the principles that support them provide deeper insights into their importance. Commandment 1 — No Other Gods Before Me, describes the importance of recognizing only Jehovah. Israel often sought other gods, and judges guided them back to Jehovah. Examples from the kings of Israel are shared with the ultimate example seen in Jesus. Commandment 2 — No []

He Magnified the Law

Value of the Law “It pleased Jehovah, for his righteousness’ sake, to magnify the law, and make ithonorable” Isaiah 42:21 (RVIC). At the time the prophet Isaiah wrote the above words, Israel had become a corrupt nation. He described the people as deaf and blind to the words of God. As a result, God allowed them to be plundered by their enemies. For most Israelites, the Law had become an old relic to be cast aside. In this context, verse 21 stands []

Commandment 1

No Other Gods “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3 NKJV. Other texts are from theChristian Standard Bible, CSB, unless otherwise noted). The first three commandments of the Decalogue set Israel’s focus on God as the one and only source of national and personal blessings. Israel had just been delivered through the ten plagues in Egypt and the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea. Yet believing in one supreme invisible God was a challenge for some Israelites, even up []

Commandment 2

No Graven Image “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, nor any likeness of any thing that isin heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth”(Exodus 20:4). By Micah Hess The second commandment builds upon the principle in the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” The ban on crafting graven images includes not only the things in the earth, but also extends upward to the heavens, []

Commandment 3

Respect the Name of God “Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain” (Exodus 20:7 RVIC). The word “vain,” as used in Exodus 20:7 (S7723), is translated from the Hebrew word shav. It means desolating; (destructive) evil. In that sense, ruin. Its root is from the word show (S7722), meaning, by implication, devastation. After examining the meaning of the Hebrew, God’s command impresses upon the hearer that His name is holy. Though no one is capable of committing []