Think, Act, Be, Day 25-Exodus 20:1-7
Then God spoke all these words.
When I traveled with my college choir, our director, Dr. Gene Black “DB,” handed out a rule book. His wife, affectionately known as “Mama B,” told us how this book came to be. She said, “Every rule is written because someone did something wrong, and we had to write a rule for it. We’ve written these rules to keep you from getting into trouble and to keep you alive.” So whether it was unplugging the curling irons in the changing rooms or prohibiting the choir members from driving the host home car, we knew there had to be a reason for everything—even if everything didn’t initially make sense. Wherever we were, we followed the rules because we were part of that choir. To look at a member of the choir meant we were seeing a living example of these instructions.
Just as God called the Israelites to worship him and gave them rules for the journey ahead to keep them alive, he calls us as well. As the church, it’s as if we stand at the base of Mount Sinai to receive instructions to thrive. Many of these rules come with a story in the Bible of failure to follow them. These laws provide a fence to protect us and to bear witness to the world. Within these boundaries, there is freedom to roam and thrive. Outside these boundaries are death and destruction. And when those who worship other gods ask, “What do Christian people think, and what do they do?” they don’t even have to look it up in a book. They can just look at you.
Then God spoke all these words:
2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3 you shall have no other gods before me.
4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, 6 but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation[b] of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.