Chapter-a-Day Exodus 20

God's top ten.

No lusting after your neighbor's house—or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don't set your heart on anything that is your neighbor's. Exodus 20:17 (MSG)

Long before David Letterman, there was God. And, from the home office on Mount Sinai, God delivers his own top ten list of rules to live by.

A couple of observations/confessions from this particular rule breaker:

  1. As I run through the list it's funny how the rules which I easily obey without forethought (e.g. "Do not murder") seem to be the most important ones on the list, but the ones with which I tend to struggle (e.g. "Don't set your heart on something someone else has" or "set aside a day to rest each week") feel like they belong at the bottom of the list in priority. Hmmmm. [scratching head]
  2. I find that the childish way I played "the letter of the law" with my parents (e.g. "I know you said be home by midnight, but it was midnight on the west coast – you didn't specify a time zone!") creeps back into my heart and mind. God doesn't want me setting my heart on my neighbor's donkey – no problem. Just for the record, God did not specify my neighbors home theatre with 52 inch flat screen, late model luxury sedan, or iPhone.
  3. I find that I like to interpret the rules literally when it suits my purpose and gives me a smug sense of self-righteousness (e.g. "Don't murder") and conveniently ignore Jesus' reminder that the spirit of law is just as important to consider (e.g. "Calling someone an 'idiot' is a form of murder).

Ouch.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and rob sheridan

2 thoughts on “Chapter-a-Day Exodus 20”

  1. Do Not Worry
    22Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life[b]? 26Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
    27″Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
    32″Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
    I mowed my lawn this morning since I don’t have to go to work. I prayed that God would talk to me as I mowed. He did. He clearly gave me the passage from Luke 12. As I looked at each green little stem of grass that is growing so well, I thought about how God values humans so much more than that. It put my head in the right frame of mind. I have been sitting at the computer or on the phone what seems to be non-stop since last Wed. God said, “Take a break and quit worrying so much. I’m in charge here.” Thanks for the reminder from Scripture today God.

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