The Ten Words, more famously known as the 10 Commandments, has been a very abused and forgotten piece of our Bible.  Remember, God first gave them to us in Scripture not on the plaque that hangs in your kitchen.  It is not a secular moral code that is common to all cultures and religions, it is the gracious direction and covenant stipulations from God for our enjoyment of Him.   Exodus 19:5-6 is why we need to treasure these gracious words of the Lord, “if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

     The format of this covenant, is much like the format of all covenants occurring in the Ancient Near East.  The suzerain (in this case, Yahweh), initiates a treaty with the smaller and weaker vassal (in this case, the nation of Israel).  There is a historical prologue (in this case, Exod. 19:4, “you yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself”).  There are stipulations laid out (ie. the Ten Words).  And there are sanctions laid out (blessings/curses for obedience/disobedience).

May we be faithful in understanding the role of these gracious words for our lives, even now when our justification does not lay in the old written code but on the blood of Jesus, yet may we be diligent to consider the whole counsel of Scripture in our worship Jesus.