The Ten Commandments--Commandments 9 and 10
This blog concludes our little trip through the Ten Commandments. Here are the ninth and tenth commandments with a few comments.
Commandment 9: Exodus 20:16; Deuteronomy 5:20: "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." Major thoughts on this commandment include the following.
1. First and foremost, this commandment focuses on giving witness or testimony in legal cases. A community, a church, a city, a country, a nation will soon crumble if truth-telling does not prevail. This is not a private issue or a secluded family issue. It has to do with society. Just one example of this issue appears in Deuteronomy 19:16-21:
"If a malicious witness comes forward to accuse someone of wrongdoing, then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days, and the judges shall make a thorough inquiry. If the witness is a false witness, having testfied falsely against another, then you shall do to the false witness just as the false witness had meant to do to the other. So you shall purge the evil from your midst. The rest shall hear and be afraid, and a crimes such as this shall never again be committed among you. Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot." On this, see further Proverbs 6:19; 14:5; 21:18.
2. ANY type of lying is sinful. We human being distinguish between "black lies" and "white lies," or "big lies" and "little lies." In God's eyes, all lies are equally sinful. Proverbs 6:16-19 enumerates seven things that the Lord "hates." One of those is "a lying tongue" (verse 17). Human beings have the "uncanny" ability to "twist," "channel," "pervert," "misdirect," "hide," "undermine" the "real truth." God wants us to be honest, to be truthful.
3. The New Testament contains several "lists" of "worldly unrighteousness," and these include "lying," "deceit," "slander," and the like. Romans 1:28-32; Ephesians 4:31-32; Colossians 3:5-8; 1 Timothy 1:8-11.
Commandment 10: Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21. "You shall not coveet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor." Here are some thoughts:
1. In essence, ALL of God's commandments have to do with "heart" issues. Covetousness is CLEARLY a "heart" issue. The US government will never arrest an individual for "covetousness." I can "covet" something all day long and never worry about being arrested or going to jail. The most important issues in life are "heart" issues. Paul drives this point home in Romans 7:7-12.
2. A strong desire in the human "heart" is to "desire" or "want" something that we do not have but yearn to want. This could be riches. According to Joshua 7:20-21, THIS is Achan's sin. This could be land or property. According to Genesis 13:2-13, THIS is the cause of the strife between the herdsmen of Abraham's livestock and the herdsmen of Lot's livestock. This could be another person's husband or wife. According to 2 Samuel 11:2-5, THIS is David's sin.
3. Covetousness is unbridled consumerism. This is a great obsession in America. This is "greed." Many are not satisfied with thankfully accepting God's gifts and blessings. We want to seize things and people of others. This commandment is VERY CLOSE to our central issues in the present world.
How do YOU feel about these Ten Commandments? How do they affect and change your heart and your life? We need to talk about these issues. These are major. Share your thoughts with others. Please send me your thoughts.