Up on Mount Sinai, Moses had received the first set of tablets, engraved by God with the Ten Commandments. But when he came down from the mountain, he found the people engaged in an orgy. It says in Exodus 32:15-20 that, “his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces.” Moses allowed his anger to get the best of him…but even after messing up big time…God still used him. The Lord’s willingness to rewrite His Law on new stone tablets was a demonstration of His infinite mercy towards us…even when we mess up.
Jesus illustrated this passage in Luke 14: 15-24 in the Parable of the Great Banquet. When the invited guests declined dinner, the master had his servants go out into the streets and bring in the poor, crippled, blind, and lame. But with room still left at the table, the master then told his servants to, ” Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in so my house will be full.” Those who will be gathered around that magnificent banquet table some day will be exalted, glorified, and redeemed of God.
I’ll be the first to admit that Winter is probably my least favorite Season of the year. Which is really funny, since I’ve lived all my life in areas where Winter isn’t just a word but a harsh reality. But as I look at the pristine blanket of snow sparkling in the sub-zero sunshine, I think to myself, Winter isn’t that bad…especially from my toasty warm vantage point here in front of the fire. Yes Lord, You’ve made all the Seasons for us to enjoy…Thank You for each one!
The day of the Lord is coming, and with it, judgment. The proud will be brought low, the cruel will be stopped in their tracks. The Lord’s fierce anger and wrath will not be held back from the unrighteous. The day of the Lord is coming.
The last six Commandments are focused on our relationship with others. I’ve heard it said that you can pick your friends…but you can’t pick you family. We can’t choose who gives us life, and maybe for some, it was a very difficult childhood growing up with parents that weren’t the best at it…or were absent all together. How then can we put our heads around the concept of respecting and esteeming someone who really doesn’t deserve to be honored. Showing respect to any other human-being shows our personal character and integrity, not necessarily theirs. By being that bigger person, we can move on to make our lives better. As it says, “Honor your mother and father, that it may go well with you, and that you may live long.”
This is the first of what is called the Ten Commandments, and the Lord starts out with the most important directive to mankind…do not worship anyone or anything but Me. Do not follow another god, do not bow down, serve or sacrifice to it. The Lord demands that we remain faithful to Him alone, because as in Jeremiah 1:16 it says, “I will pronounce My judgments on My people because of their wickedness in forsaking Me, in burning incense to other gods and in worshiping what their hands have made.” Our God is a jealous God, wanting our full devotion and love.