Words from the Weary Wilderness - Lenten Journey Day 5
Day Five - Monday, March 7
The Commandments Relate Us to God
Read: Exodus 20:1-11
The Ten Commandments
20 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 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.
8 Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work. 10 But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.
Today’s Word from the Weary Wilderness: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:2)
Reflection: God offers a bounteous gift to the people as the Commandments are spoken to Moses. God offers roots, boundaries, and guardrails. God begins with a reminder of the deep relationship they share, the legacy of deliverance. They have been delivered from slavery into sacred living. The first four commandments are about the individual’s relationship with God. (And it can be argued that the Sabbath is the hinge commandment, connecting our faithfulness with God with our faithfulness to others.) They are placed first perhaps because they are the basis of being able to live with others. The last six we shall visit tomorrow.
Prayer: God of the Wilderness, some of your commandments are easier to obey than others. Some seem clear, and others we tend to throw around as weapons instead of simply obeying them. We see each of these as vital to faithful living, and please receive our gift of thanks for these commandments. Amen.
Blessings of Peace and Health,
Rev. Beverly B. Coppley
& Chief Missional Strategist