Loving God with ALL

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20 And God spoke all these words, saying, “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.
“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands 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 hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. Exodus 20:1-7

37 And He [Jesus] said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. Matthew 22:37-38

The Lord begins the Ten Commandments by reminding the people that He is God and that He has the authority to give these commandments. In fact, He repeats “the Lord your God” five times (vs. 3, 5, 7, 10, 12). These commandments were to help the Israelites know and understand how they were to love God with ALL…just some thoughts:

  • There are to be no other “g”ods…that would be no one or nothing loved, treasured or valued greater that the Lord whether it was a hand-carved idol or the image of creation or something on earth. No false gods, period. There is an entire listing that is appropriate for today…possessions, money, intellect, self, status, etc. the list of what is treasured more than the One True and Living God is far greater than I could list here.
  • The Israelites were not to bow down to them or serve them, nor are we. In 1 John 5:21, the Lord speaks, “Little children, keep yourselves from idols.” I believe this important to understand in this day and time when the enemy has sown the lie that we can love and worship Jesus and an idol. The enemy really doesn’t care which idol we choose as long as it is one that keeps us from loving the Lord with ALL. The Lord speaks to say, No other gods for I Am the Lord your God and I am jealous for you (Exodus 34:14). Please note, not “of you” but “for you.” I love you so much that I will not share you with an idol who cannot be compared to Me and can do nothing for you. God is our Creator, Deliverer, Rescuer, Redeemer and Savior! Surely, He deserves an exclusive relationship!
  • In verse 5b, the Lord is not saying that the children will punished for their parents sins (Ezekiel 18:4) but that the sins of the parents will impact the lives of their children. This will cause the children to sin and be punished. On the other hand, the right relationship with God, serving no other god, loving God with ALL will lead the children into blessings (John 14:23; John 3:36; 1 Timothy 4:8). Choices have consequences…we should make choices with the view of blessing our children instead of passing on the spirit of disobedience and rebellion.
  • The Lord is Great and greatly to be praised (Psalm 145:3). God is Great and greatly to be honored. We are to honor the Name of the Lord in all we say and do. The Name of the Lord encompasses His total being, His character and nature. The Israelites were to bring honor to His Name rather than throwing His Name around loosely in any kind of way: cursing, swearing, absent-minded invoking of this Name, promises made in His Name and then not kept. Jesus taught the disciples to begin prayer by hallowing the Name of the Lord (Matthew 6:9). Philippians tells us the honor that is due:  Philippians 2:9-11, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” 

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The commandment of love

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36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40

As we read the Words above, the veil is opened and we see the Old Testament being fulfilled in the New Testament. We gain further understanding of the principle, “the Old Testament is the New Testament prophesied and the New Testament is the Old Testament fulfilled.”

Now, please…no one take offense or get upset…but just in case, I thought this graphic which places the Ten Commandments in such simplicity would help us.

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  1. 37 And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment.
    Commandments 1 -4.
  2. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Commandments 5-10.

We were created for right relationship with God and man…it is a relationship of love that puts God’s glory on display! Right relationship with God will always bear the fruit of right relationship with others.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:7-12

16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 1 John 3:16

Romans 13:8-10
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

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Wisdom Wednesday

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Blessings today! It is Wisdom Wednesday and the Lord continues to speak in regards to His commands. I pray you will be blessed and encouraged by the following Scriptures and quotes. Blessed is the Name of the Lord!

the-commandments-1 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 1 John 5:2-4the-commandments-2

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. Ecclesiastes 12:13the-commandments-4Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them. Psalm 119:129
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And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the very commandment you have heard from the beginning, that you must walk in love. 2 John 1:6

the-commandments-6I delight to do your will, O my God;
    Your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8the-commandments-7“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17the-commandments-9“For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:18-19

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but My Words will not pass away

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As we have stated before, the ceremonial/sacrificial system was fulfilled by Jesus:

“First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). 9 Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. 10 For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

11 Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. 12 But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honor at God’s right hand.” Hebrews 10:8-12

Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!

God remains the same, yesterday, today, and forever…the moral law remains intact. Man’s intellect, wisdom, self-will, self-interest expressed in rebellion will never change this truth.

 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Matthew 24:35

A careful reading of the New Testament will help those who want to discount the Old Testament to know that nine of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament. The exception is the Sabbath Day but the principle regarding rest remains intact, we will discuss later.

We are saved by grace through faith into a new and abundant life. 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” No longer enslaved to sin but set free to live for Christ as a display of His glory. It is our blessing to be reminded of at least a couple of things Jesus spoke in regards to the commandments:

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15

“Whoever has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him.” John 14:21

“Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.” John 14:23-24

“If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.” John 15:10

and from John:

“By this we can be sure that we have come to know Him: if we keep His commandments.”
1 John 2:3

For the [true] love of God is this: that we do His commands [keep His ordinances and are mindful of His precepts and teaching]. And these orders of His are not irksome (burdensome, oppressive, or grievous). 1 John 5:3

“And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the very commandment you have heard from the beginning, that you must walk in love.” 2 John 1:6

 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12

The Ten Commandments helps us to see and know the character and nature of the True and Living God and His great love, grace, and mercy. The Commandments will also show us His expectations of just how we live out the new lives He has given us! It is our privilege, the overflow of our love is our obedience.

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Why, then, was the law given at all?

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Today, we continue with yesterday’s post, “Saved by grace through faith alone, some may ask what is the purpose of the Law? Galatians 3 and Romans 8 will help our understanding. I am using the NLT version to ease the reading…for those who like a little tighter translation, click here for the ESV translation.

Galatians 3
The Law and Faith in Christ
10 But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.” 11 So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” 12 This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, “It is through obeying the law that a person has life.”

13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith.

The Law and God’s Promise
15 Dear brothers and sisters, here’s an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or amend an irrevocable agreement, so it is in this case. 16 God gave the promises to Abraham and his child. And notice that the Scripture doesn’t say “to his children,” as if it meant many descendants. Rather, it says “to his child”—and that, of course, means Christ. 17 This is what I am trying to say: The agreement God made with Abraham could not be canceled 430 years later when God gave the law to Moses. God would be breaking his promise. 18 For if the inheritance could be received by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God’s promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham as a promise.

19 Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave his law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people. 20 Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when he gave his promise to Abraham.

21 Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises? Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. 22 But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ.

Romans 8
Now, because of this, those who belong to Christ will not suffer the punishment of sin. The power of the Holy Spirit has made me free from the power of sin and death. This power is mine because I belong to Christ Jesus. The Law could not make me free from the power of sin and death. It was weak because it had to work with weak human beings. But God sent His own Son. He came to earth in a body of flesh which could be tempted to sin as we in our bodies can be. He gave Himself to take away sin. By doing that, He took away the power sin had over us. In that way, Jesus did for us what the Law said had to be done. We do not do what our sinful old selves tell us to do anymore. Now we do what the Holy Spirit wants us to do. Those who let their sinful old selves tell them what to do live under that power of their sinful old selves. But those who let the Holy Spirit tell them what to do are under His power. If your sinful old self is the boss over your mind, it leads to death. But if the Holy Spirit is the boss over your mind, it leads to life and peace. The mind that thinks only of ways to please the sinful old self is fighting against God. It is not able to obey God’s Laws. It never can. Those who do what their sinful old selves want to do cannot please God.

But you are not doing what your sinful old selves want you to do. You are doing what the Holy Spirit tells you to do, if you have God’s Spirit living in you. No one belongs to Christ if he does not have Christ’s Spirit in him. 10 If Christ is in you, your spirit lives because you are right with God, and yet your body is dead because of sin. 11 The Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead. If the same Holy Spirit lives in you, He will give life to your bodies in the same way.

12 So then, Christian brothers, we are not to do what our sinful old selves want us to do. 13 If you do what your sinful old selves want you to do, you will die in sin. But if, through the power of the Holy Spirit, you destroy those actions to which the body can be led, you will have life. 14 All those who are led by the Holy Spirit are sons of God. 15 You should not act like people who are owned by someone. They are always afraid. Instead, the Holy Spirit makes us His sons, and we can call to Him, “My Father.” 16 For the Holy Spirit speaks to us and tells our spirit that we are children of God.

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Saved by grace through faith alone

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Before continuing in the Ten Commandments, I feel compelled to once again declare this truth, For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Just want to be sure that there is no misunderstanding regarding salvation based on work. It can not happen. The best commentary on the Bible is the Bible so two other verses are below:

Galatians 2:16, “yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.”

Romans 3:20, “For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.

So thankful that Jesus paid it all and salvation is not by being good. If salvation is by being good, it begs the question that I have heard preached and taught many times before…”if salvation is by being good, how good is good enough? Galatians 2:21 says, “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

The law proves to us that all our self-righteousness acts are an empty and dirty offering before a Holy, Righteous, Pure and Perfect God. The law reveals our need for a Savior. There is no way that we could ever be good enough for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith.” Romans 3:23-25

Matthew 5:17-20 English Standard Version (ESV)

Christ Came to Fulfill the Law

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

 I am reminded of the old hymn, “What can wash away my sin?” in Gos­pel Mu­sic,
by Will­iam Doane and Ro­bert Low­ry (New York: Big­low & Main, 1876)

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain: Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my cleansing this my plea,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Now by this I’ll overcome—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
Now by this I’ll reach my home—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain

Glory! Glory! This I sing—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
All my praise for this I bring—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

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To Whom will you compare Me

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Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
    Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
    and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
    and spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He brings princes to naught
    and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.
24 No sooner are they planted,
    no sooner are they sown,
    no sooner do they take root in the ground,
than he blows on them and they wither,
    and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.

25 “To whom will you compare me?
    Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
    Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
    and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
    not one of them is missing.

27 Why do you complain, Jacob?
    Why do you say, Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
    my cause is disregarded by my God”?
28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:21-31

 

 

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The Lord that brought us out

The God Who

And God spoke all these words, saying, “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 20:1-3

As I read the above verses, a post from nine months ago came to my mind and heart. The Lord brought us out of the bondage of sin for Himself, not that we would be enslaved to anyone or anything else.

“But he brought us out from there to bring us in and
give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors.”
Deuteronomy 6:23

Moses and the Israelites’ Exodus from Egyptian bondage is such a rich garden from which to feed. I believe the Lord is leading me to write from the Book of Exodus and am excited as it is one of my favorites places to read and meditate. I am blessed by your faithfulness to this site and that you will coming along with me. I am praying that the Lord would open His Word to us and then open our hearts to His Word that transformation would take place. 🙂

First of all, the word “Exodus” means “exit” or “going out” and as we eat we will see that it is the story of Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage. As we look into this book, we will find God’s character including that He is a Promise Keeper who loves and keeps His children.

God will teach us that whenever He moves in our lives to bring about an exit, we also “enter” or “come in”.  His bringing out is always to bring us into a new realm or season as we will see with the Israelites. Deuteronomy 6:23, “But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors. The Lord does not change as this was truth for the Israelites so it is true for all His children.

This principle is worth holding in our hearts. No matter how hard life becomes, the issues we face, the obstacles in our way, the things we so desperately want to hold on to and God is us urging us to let go, no matter strongholds and yokes, traditions and SELF…God is never desiring to harm us BUT to prosper us and give us hope and a future. All His plans and ways are perfect, it is okay…more than okay, it is safe to let go and follow. He brings us out to bring us into His great and glorious land and promises.

Exodus 3:8 records the plan the Lord had for Israel, So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey.” We will look at this is greater detail later but the place God has for us is ALWAYS the place of promise. It is to our blessing and benefit to follow Him all the way!

1 Peter 2:9 is the perfect example of God’s redeeming love and perfect plan and ways, But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

What place is God calling you to exit in order to enter or come into the new? Remember that His plan is not to harm but to bring prosperity, hope and a  future!

Beauty for ashes
The place of prosperity, hope, and a future!

Psalm_18:30

As we look back to the Exodus 20:3 verse, we see the Lord declare that the God who brings you out is the God you should worship. He is not only Savior and Deliverer but He is Lord! From there, He begins to give them the terms of the covenant. Remember from Exodus 19:8, All the people answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do.”

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The commandments of the Lord

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Blessings today! The last time we saw Moses and the Israelites, they were at the foot of Mount Sinai: “There was loud thunder, a very loud trumpet blast, lightning flashing, fire, a thick cloud which brought darkness, and billowing smoke like from a furnace…” and the whole mountain trembled violently” as the Most High God of the universe made His presence known. Moses spoke to God and the voice of God answered him. The Presence of God on the mountain to a people He has rescued, delivered, and chosen for Himself! WOW! Selah!” Only Moses and Aaron could come up the mountain. 

Exodus 19:25, “So Moses went down to the people and told them.”

Today, we read Exodus 20 as we ask God to speak to our hearts today and in future posts on this chapter. May God ever bless you as we journey in His Word together.

The Ten Commandments

2And God spoke all these words, saying,

“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.

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands 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 hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

18 Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off 19 and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” 20 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” 21 The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.

Laws About Altars

22 And the Lord said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the people of Israel: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have talked with you from heaven. 23 You shall not make gods of silver to be with me, nor shall you make for yourselves gods of gold. 24 An altar of earth you shall make for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you. 25 If you make me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stones, for if you wield your tool on it you profane it. 26 And you shall not go up by steps to my altar, that your nakedness be not exposed on it.’

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