~~~~~Lesson: Exodus: Chapters 19-20 (reading below lesson)
The most fundamental of laws and the some of the first ones we learn as children: the Ten Commandments.
I love how Jesus later put it, "to love your God and to love others" as the distillation of the law; the most pure form of the law. Because all of the Ten Commandments can be traced back to those two principles.
On the flip side, there are two very human traits that describe the breaking of these laws: pride and selfishness.
Pride is refusing to put God first, worshipping false idols (such as money, in today's terms), assuming you have the right to take the Lord's name in vain, pride in refusing the day of rest God gives us.
Selfishness in not loving your mother and father or taking another's life, spouse, or possessions. Selfishness in swearing against your neighbor, assuming that what you want is more important than the truth. Selfishness is desiring their possessions and pride in believing you know what is better for you than God does.
I'm sure many of you have heard of the capital (or deadly) sins: Pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth.
Which of these- you can either tell us, if you're brave enough or just answer to yourself!- gives you the most trouble?
Which of the 10 commandments is hardest for you?
Did you know that there are seven virtues opposed to the capital sins, though:
Humility, Liberality (aka: generosity), Chastity, meekness, temperance, brotherly love, and diligence.
Okay, we were honest enough to admit to ourselves which sin gave us the worst trouble avoiding:
Be honest, which of the seven virtues are you blessed to have? (Or which ones)
What can we do every single day to follow the ten commandments, avoid the seven sins, or cultivate the seven virtues?
God later removes the rule of the law by giving Jesus to us...why did he give us the Ten Commandments in the first place?
~Reading: Exodus: Chapters 19-20
(19:1-2) In the third month after their departure from the land of Egypt, on the first day, the Israelites came to the desert of Sinai. After the journey from Rephidim to the desert of Sanai, they pitched camp.
(20:1-17) Then God delivered all these commandments:
"I, the Lord, am your god, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. You shall not have other gods besides me.
You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before them. For I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their fathers' wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation; but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation, on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.
You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain. For the Lord will not leave unpunished him who takes his name in vain.
Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day. Six days your may labor and do all your work, but on the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord, your God. No work may be done then either by you, or your son or daughter, or your male or female slave, or your beast, or by the alien who lives with you. In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord has blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you.
You shall not kill.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ass, nor anything else that belongs to him."
[God also gives laws regarding slaves, personal injury, property damage, trusts & loans, social laws, religious laws; he also explains (in detail) the dwelling & furnishing of the tabernacle and the appropriate clothing & behavior for the priests. Feel free to read 20:18-Chapter 31, for further details.]
Jennifer Becker Landsberger
Who am I? Freelance writer (magazines, websites, & copywriting), Catholic, military wife, and Mensan. Double Bachelor's in History & Psychology.
Witnessing by charity and love are above all. Studying the Bible and beyond helps me on this quest. Feel free to join my walk into the Bible.
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~~~Prayer before Writing-
Oh creator of the universe, who has set the stars in the heavens and causes the sun to rise and set, shed the light of your wisdom into the darkness of my mind. Fill my thoughts with a loving knowledge of you, that I may bring you like to others. Just as you can make even babies speak your truth, instruct my tongue and guide my pen to convey the wonderful glory of the Gospel. Make my intellect sharp, my memory clear, and my words eloquent, so that I may faithfully interpret the mysteries what you have revealed.
To my readers & fellow writers,
1. I will pray that God's grace helps illuminate all of our interactions- both those of simple reading and more active conversations.
2. I will communicate with you respectfully and civilly. These are (rightly) issues which we feel passionate about. But even in disagreements, I will respect you fellow "seekers of truth."
3. I will not fall into negative behavior or words, such as insinuations, exaggerations, blames, or personal attacks. I respectfully ask you to do the same.
4. I will pray we will all find the truth and strive to fulfill the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:30-31)
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Sites I Recommend
Biblical Evidence for Catholicism by Dave Armstrong