After God rescued the Israelites from bondage, He provided instructions for them to live by. The commandments were God’s instructions for His people to live a wise and obedient life.
Facts Pertaining to the Law
- The Old Testament contains 613 commandments.
- All are found in 4 of the 39 books: Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
- The purpose of the Law was to show it was important yet impossible for them to keep.
Different Types of Law
- Some laws are obedience laws; they demand people to stay loyal to God.
- You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might (Deut. 6:5).
- Some laws that seem trivial actually have a deeper purpose rooted in the sin of worshiping other gods.
- You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk (Deut. 14:21).
- Some laws were given to protect the Israelites’ diet.
- And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you (Lev. 11:7).
The Big 10
- The 10 Commandments are divided into 4 vertical commandments and 6 horizontal commandments.
- The first 4 commandments deal with their relationship with the LORD.
- The last 6 deal with their relationship with each other.
- The first 4 provide reasons for each command.
- The commandments were never given as a prerequisite for redemption but as a standard for the redeemed.
The Heart of the Ten Commandments
Below are listed a summarized version of each commandment and the sinful tendency that it sought to combat.
SUMMARIZED COMMANDMENT – SINFUL TENDENCY
- No other gods – ambition to be God
- No idols – reducing God
- Keep His name holy – speaking of God in a worthy manner
- Keep His day holy – trusting God for provision
- Honor father and mother – submitting to authority
- No killing – ongoing hostilities
- No adultery – sexual purity
- No stealing – keeping integrity
- No lying – being honest
- No coveting – being content