Deuteronomy 5






In the first five verses Moses reminds them of the making of the covenant at Horeb,

and of the revelation of the fundamental law of the covenant there. As he

was about to recapitulate the laws which God their King had enacted, it

was fitting that he should refer at the outset to that covenant relation

between Jehovah and Israel on which all the injunctions of the Law rested.


1 “And Moses called all Israel, and said unto them, Hear, O Israel, the

statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day, that ye

may learn them, and keep, and do them.”  The calling refers not to the

publicity of the address, but to the clear voice which, breaking forth from the

inmost heart of Moses, aimed at penetrating, as far as possible, to all (Genesis

49:1; compare also Proverbs 8:4.)


2 “The LORD our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.  3 The LORD

made not this covenant with our fathers,” -  the patriarchs (ch.4:37.) The

covenant to which Moses refers is not that made with Abraham, but that made at

Sinai, with Israel as a people; and though the individuals who were then present had

all perished with the exception of Moses, Joshua, and Caleb, the nation survived,

and as it was with the nation as an organic whole that the covenant had been made.

it might be with propriety said that it was made with those whom Moses addressed

at this time, inasmuch as they constituted the nation -“but with us, even us, who

are all of us here alive this day.”



                                    The Covenant at Horeb (vs. 2-3)


Here spoken of as distinct from the older covenant made with the

patriarchs (Genesis 15., 17.).



FATHERS, It was not a new thing absolutely. It rested on that older

covenant, and on the series of revelations which sprang out of it. It could

not disannul that older covenant (Galatians 3:17). It could not run

counter to it (ibid. v. 21). It must, though “superadded,” be in

subserviency to it (ibid. vs.15-26). But that covenant made with the

fathers was:


Ø      Of promise (ibid. v.18).

Ø      Couched in absolute terms. God pledged His perfections that the promise

conveyed in it would be ultimately realized (Romans 3:3).

Ø       In which an interest was obtained by faith (Genesis 15:6; Romans


Ø       While yet it bound the person received into covenant to a holy life

(Genesis 17:1). The new covenant could “make void” the older one in

none of these particulars.





Ø      It was a national covenant, having reference primarily to national

existence and prosperity.


o       It was a covenant of Law. It was:


§         connected with a promulgation of Law, and

§         required obedience to the prescribed Law as the condition of



Does this look like a retrograde step in the Divine procedure, a

contradiction of the covenant with Abraham? Seemingly it was so, but the backward step was really a forward one, bringing to light demands of the Divine holiness which it was absolutely essential man should become acquainted with. Two points have to be noticed:


ü      that obedience was not made the ground of admission to the covenant, or aught else than the condition of continuance in privileges freely conferred; and

ü      that the requirement of obedience did not stand alone, but was connected with provisions for the removal of the guilt contracted by transgression and shortcoming. This brings into view the peculiar feature in the covenant of Horebthe hidden grace of it. In form and letter it was a

strictly legal covenant. Obedience to the Law in all its parts, and without failure, was the technical condition of the fulfillment of promise, and of continuance in covenant privilege (compare Matthew 19:17; Romans 10:5; Galatians 3:10). The fact that atonements were provided to remove the guilt which otherwise would have broken up the covenant, is

proof that such was its constitution. The same fact shows that in the structure of the covenant it was recognized that sin and shortcoming would mark the history of Israel; that, on the strictly legal basis, standing in the state of acceptance was impossible. A theoretically perfect obedience no

Jew ever rendered. His standing in no case was in virtue of a perfectly fulfilled Law, but was due to forgiving mercy, which daily pardoned his shortcomings, and gave him an acceptance which these shortcomings were as constantly forfeiting. It was faith, not works, which justified him; while yet, in harmony with the unalterable law of moral life, IT WAS HIS DUTY TO AIM AT  the realization of the ideal of righteousness which the Law presented. Just as with Abraham, the faith which justified him, and did so

before a single work had issued from it (Genesis 15:6;  James 2:23), was a faith which “wrought with works,” and “by works was faith made perfect” (ibid. ch. 2:22). It follows from these peculiarities, and from the statements of Scripture, that it was:


Ø      A preparatory and temporary covenant. Its leading design was:


o       to develop the consciousness of sin,

o       to awaken a feeling of the need of redemption,

o       to evince the powerlessness of mere Law as a source of moral


o       to drive men back from legal efforts to faith, and so, finally,

o       to prepare the way for Christ (Romans 3:20; Galatians 3:23-24, etc.).


In this we discern the reason of the severe and threatening form in which it

was couched, and of the terrors which attended its promulgation. It was a

covenant which could not of itself save or do aught but kill (II Corinthians 3:6-12).


4  “The LORD talked with you face to face” - God spoke to them immediately,

in their presence and to their face, from the mount, as one person might to another.

There is a slight difference in form between the phrase here and that in Exodus 33:11

 and ch.34:10,  where it is used in reference to Moses, but it is so slight (בְּפָּנִים instead of אֶל־פָּנִי) that no difference of meaning can be elicited. God spake

directly to the people, as He did to Moses, only Moses was admitted to

closer communion with him than the people were. This difference is sufficiently

indicated in v. 5, where the mediatory function of Moses, in the promulgation of

the Law and the making of the covenant, is described as necessitated by the fear

of the people, and their not going up into the mount (compare Exodus 19:19).

This is referred to more fully afterwards (v. 23). - “in the mount out of the

midst of the fire,  5  (I stood between the LORD and you at that time,”

 i.e. acted as mediator; Septuagint -  εἱστήκειν ἀνὰ μέσονeistaekein

ana meson – I stood between as a mediator -  (<480319>Galatians 3:19) –

“to shew you the word of the LORD: for ye were afraid by reason of the

fire, and went not up into the mount;) saying,”




                        The Abrahamic Covenant Renewed (vs. 1-5)


So solicitous was God for the well-being of Israel that, on critical epochs in

their history, He reminds them of their privileged condition. Three main

thoughts arrest our attention:


·         COVENANTED BLESSING SECURED. God has not stood out for

the maintenance of His rights; He has stooped to fetter His liberty — to bind

Himself to generous deeds.


Ø      He allows us to hold proprietorship in Him. We can claim Him to be

our God.” The Proprietor of ALL WORLDS permits fallen men to assert proprietorship in him! Herein is love! We can call upon Him, in justice, to fulfill His self-imposed obligations.


Ø      A covenant implies reciprocal engagements. It is a deed of grace. God

binds Himself as a Friend and Defender to us, on condition that we bind

ourselves in obedient loyalty to Him. Failure on one side releases the

other party from his pledge.


Ø      A covenant includes mutual consent. No covenant is really valid, is not

complete, until both parties have sworn to observe it. There may be

command, law, decree, proceeding from God to man; but no covenant is

really in force until we personally have accepted its terms, and bound

ourselves by willing act to observe it. Then, our whole being — property,

talent, blood, life, are pledged.


·         MEDIATION PROVIDED. This is a further mark of condescending

grace. When two parties are alienated, it is always deemed an advantage to

one party to have a mediator chosen from its ranks. God allows a man to

mediate between Israel and Himself. “I stood between the Lord and you.”


Ø      Such mediation was needful, because of mutual disparity\:”


o       Man is finite;GOD IS INFINITE!

o       Man is for self; GOD IS SELF-OBLIVIOUS!

o       Man is earthly minded; GOD IS PURELY SPIRITUAL!


That the two may coalesce in sentiment, purpose, life, mediation of some sort is required.


Ø      Mediation is needful, because of mans selfish fear. The people were

“afraid, by reason of the fire” — afraid for their own interests and

pleasures. Were men impelled by wisdom, they would count it THE

HIGHEST PRIVILEGE POSSIBLE TO APPROACH GOD!  What, though we have sinned; — inasmuch as God has revealed Himself as

the Source of mercy, and has deigned to visit us, should we not gladly respond to His proposal, and draw nigh? What, though He is dressed in garments of flame; — if we are penitent, the consuming flame will consume only our sin; it will benefit and burnish us. This is our honor and our joyto come very near TO GOD and to gain larger acquaintance WITH HIM!  If renewed, our former aversion is

turned into longing desire.


Ø      This mediation was very imperfect. It served a present purpose, viz. a

mediation for communicating truth, a mediation for obtaining favor. It

speaks a volume for the character and faith of Moses, that he was not

afraid to draw near. Imperfect though he was, he displayed a rare spirit of

self-sacrifice. “Pardon, I pray thee, this people! or else, blot out my name from thy book!” (Exodus 32:32) Here was a vivid type of Jesus.


·         HUMAN OBLIGATION INCREASED. In the very nature of things,

kindness on the one side begets obligation on the other.


Ø      This obligation is personal. “The Lord hath not made this covenant with

our fathers, but with us.” God’s covenant with men is renewed AGE

AFTER AGE!   It is a covenant with us, if we will accept the terms. Are we willing to be HIS....WHOLLY HIS? Then the covenant is settled, “ordered in all things and sure.”  (II Samuel 232:5 – the sure mercies

of David CY – 2020)


Ø      This obligation is all-embracing and complete. It includes every part of

our nature, every moment in our history, every interest we have in life.

Attention is demanded. The ear must be reserved for God. Intellect is

pledged. We must “learn the statutes and judgments.” Active and dutiful

service is due. Like the true Son, our intention must be, “I do always the

things that please” the Father! (John 8:29)




                                                            Mediation (v. 5)


·         MEDIATION IN GENERAL. Mediation has a God-ward side and a

man-ward side.


a.  The requirements of God’s holiness and

b.  the needs of man’s heart.


Ø      On Gods side, communion with sinners can only be maintained on

terms which uphold righteousness and law, and do not detract from the

sanctity of the Divine character.


Ø      On mans side, there is:


o       the feeling of weakness and finitude, awakening terror in

the THE PRESENCE OF THE INFINITE!.   (vs. 25-27).

o       The feeling of sin, giving rise to the craving for a holier one to stand

between him and God.

o       The feeling of need — the soul’s longing for fellowship with God;

giving rise to the desire for one to mediate in the sense of making peace, of bringing about reconciliation (Job 16:2l).



trace the resemblance:


Ø      In his willingness to mediate. So did Jesus most willingly undertake to

stand between God and sinners (Hebrews 10:5-10).


Ø      In his acceptance as mediator (v. 28). So was Christ called to this

office by the Father, invested with all the powers necessary for the right

discharge of its duties, and accepted in the discharge of them (Isaiah

49:8; Matthew 3:17; 17:5; Hebrews 5:4-11).


Ø      In the work he did.


o       Conveying God’s words to the people (compare John 17:6-9).

o       Conveying the people’s words to God (v. 27). Jesus is in like manner

the medium through whom prayer, worship, etc., ascend to the Father

(Ephesians 3:18; Hebrews 4:14-16).

o       Frequently interceding for them, and obtaining pardon for their sins

(Exodus 32:11-15; Numbers 14:13-21, etc.). So does Jesus ever

live to intercede for us, and advocate our cause (Romans 8:34;

I John 2:1).

o       Even, on one notable occasion, offering Himself as a sacrifice for their

sin (Exodus 32:32). What Moses would have done, had it been possible so to save the people from destruction, CHRIST DID! (Galatians 3:13)


6 “I am the LORD thy God,” (“I am Jehovah thy God) - The Law, the

establishing rule for men, can proceed only from Him who alone and over

all stands fast; i.e. from GOD ESPECIALLY AS JEHOVAH!   The eternal,

unchangeable One,  since He demands the obedience of faith (is not merely the

moral imperative),  must not only reveal Himself, but in revealing Himself must claim

Israel as loyal and faithful; “thy God  - “which brought thee out of the land of

Egypt, from the house of bondage.”



Repetition of the Ten Commandments (vs. 7-21)


On these, as the basis of the covenant, the whole legislation rests, and therefore a

rehearsal of them is a fitting introduction to a repetition and enforcement of the laws

of the theocracy. Some differences appear between the statement of the “ten words,”

as given here and as given in Exodus 20. It is chiefly in the fourth commandment

that these are to be found. It begins here with “remember” for “keep;” reference is

made to the command of God as sanctioning the Sabbath (v. 12), which is omitted in

Exodus; a fuller description of the animals to be exempted from work on that day is

given (v. 14); the words, “that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as

well as thou” are added (v. 14); and in place of a reference to the resting of God

after the Creation as the ground of the Sabbath institute, as in Exodus, there is here

a reference to the deliverance of the Israelites out of bondage in Egypt as a reason

why the Lord commanded them to keep the Sabbath day (v. 15). In the fifth

commandment there are two additions here-the one of the words, “as Jehovah

 thy God hath commanded thee,” and the other of the words, “that it may

go well with thee” (v. 16). In the tenth commandment, the first two clauses are

transposed, “desire” appears in place of “covet” in relation to “wife,” and “field”

is added to the specification of objects (v. 21). These differences are of little moment.

The only one demanding notice is that in the fourth commandment, where different

reasons are assigned for the ordinance of the Sabbath. The two reasons assigned,

however, are perfectly compatible; the one is fundamental and universally applicable,

the other is subsidiary and special in its application; the one is a reason why the

Sabbath was originally instituted and is for all men, the other is a reason why it was

specially and formally instituted in Israel and was especially memorable to that people.

In a popular address to them it seems fitting that the latter rather than the

former should be the one adduced. As a memorial of their deliverance from

Egypt, the Sabbath was all important to them, for by it they were

constantly reminded that “they were thereby freed from the dominion of

the world to be a peculiar possession of Jehovah, and so amid the toil and

trouble of the world had part in the holy rest of their God.”  It was also fitting

in a recapitulatory address that special emphasis should be laid on the fact that what

the Law enunciated was what “the Lord had commanded.” The addition of

“field” in the tenth commandment is probably due to the fact that now, the

occupation and division of the land having begun, the people were about to have,

what they had not before — each his own property in land. In the tenth commandment,

also, there is a difference in the two accounts worthy of notice. In Deuteronomy,

“field” is added to the enumeration of objects not to be coveted, and the “wife” is

put first and apart, while in Exodus the “house” precedes the “wife” and the latter

ranks with the rest. In Deuteronomy also this separation of the wife is emphasized by

a change of the verb: “Neither shalt thou desire (תַּחְמֹד) thy neighbors wife,

neither shalt thou covet (תִּתְאַוָּה) thy neighbors house,” etc.




      The Divine Law Based on a Divinely Revealed Relationship (v. 6)


“I am the Lord thy God.” This little word thy, in this connection, gives

us the basis on which the Law was set. Of the event called “the giving of

the Law,” we feel the thrill even now. That Law has in it four features,

corresponding to one or other of the aspects in which the people to whom

it was first given may be regarded. They were:


  • members of the great human family, moral, responsible beings,

amenable to the government of God. They were:


  • a Church in the wilderness, with their own institutions, which embodied

the worship appropriate to the religion enjoined upon them. They were:


  • a people rescued from bondage, about to have a commonwealth of

their own, for which sundry civil and political regulations had to be

provided. They were:


  • a nation which for years was to be in a wandering state, yet destined in

the long run to find a home in Palestine.


Ø      Adapted to them in this last named aspect, they had sanitary laws;

Ø      for them in the third aspect there were civil and political laws;

Ø      for them in the second aspect there were religious institutions; and

Ø      for them in the first aspect there was the great moral law.


The set of rules having reference to health would be binding only so far as the laws

of climate and modes of life necessitated their continued observance. The civil law

would be but temporary so far as it received its complexion from the

 idolatrous surroundings of the people.  The ceremonial law would pass away


(Matthew 5:17; 24:35).   The moral law is  unchanging as man’s nature, and

enduring as his relation to God. It is given in the ten commandments, of which:


Ø      the first enjoins supreme love to the Divine Being:

Ø      the second, recognition of the spirituality of the Divine nature:

Ø      the third, reverence for the Divine Name:

Ø      the fourth, care for Divine worship:

Ø       the fifth inculcates religion in the home:

Ø      the sixth, the religion of the temper:

Ø       the seventh, the religion of the body:

Ø      the eighth, the religion of the hand:

Ø      the ninth, the religion of the tongue:

Ø      the tenth, the religion of the heart.


But antecedently to the Law in any of its aspects, there is a question of deep

interest and importance, viz. From whom came it? The reasons for obedience to it

come very largely out of the answer to be given to that question. Now, the

words in ch.5:6, which precede the Law itself, are not merely a preface to it, they

are at once the basis of it and the reason for obedience to it. And these words

should be opened up clearly in every case where the Decalogue is about to be

expounded. The Law is not set on law, but on grace! For observe:




THEIR ALLEGIANCE. Thy God.” The Hebrews were never

expected to believe in, obey, or love an absolutely unrelated Being.

THERE IS NO SUCH BEING! God is related to all the creatures He has

made. Hence our knowledge of Him is not unreal, because it is relative;

but real, because in knowing God’s relations to us, we, so far, KNOW

HIM AS HE IS!   God was Israel’s Redeemer. He had redeemed them

that they might be His. He would have the entire life of His redeemed

ones spent in covenant relationship with Him. Hence He sets His own Law

on the basis of those relations. And so it is now. We are not expected to

love a Being whose relations to us are doubtful or obscure, or whose

mind and will towards us are unknown. We love because he first loved us.

(I John 4:19)




POWER. The following suggestions may be developed largely with great



Ø      The conception of law is materially changed when we know that it

comes from One who loves us infinitely, and cares for us with a

 tender care. This gives sweetness to the command. We are “under

law to Christ.” (I Corinthians 9:21)

Ø      “The Lord thy God;” that gives the worship of God its charm.

Ø      This is the truth which is objectively disclosed by the Incarnation.

Ø      It is the truth which the Holy Ghost graves on the hearts of

 the saints (Romans 8:15).

Ø      This truth shows us that real religion is love responding to love

(I John 4:19).

Ø      It gives a manifest ground for trust. We know whom we have

believed. (II Timothy 1:12)

Ø      It gives a  purpose and charm to every precept.

Ø      It gives meaning to every trial (ch. 8:5).

Ø      It is in the light of this truth that prayer becomes possible, and is seen to

be reasonable.

Ø      This gives a solemn aspect to our responsibility (Psalm 81:10;

Amos 4:12; Hebrews 4:13).

Ø      The fuller understanding of the words, My God,” will be the result of

ripeness in grace (Zechariah 13:9; Isaiah 41:10-20).

Ø      This is pre-eminently the truth which gives its certainty and its glow to

the hope of future glory (Mark 12:26; Hebrews 11:16; Revelation

21:3, 7).






Ø      Seeing the fearful havoc agnosticism would make, if it should ever come

                        to govern human thinking, let us show men:


o       That a God out of relation to us does not exist.

o       That the one God is related to us as Creator, etc.

o       That His varied relations are explicitly revealed, specially through the Son and through the Holy Ghost.

o       That these relations are to be apprehended by our moral and spiritual nature, and not by the intellect alone. It should never make us stagger that, after getting to the very outer rim of natural knowledge, men should look out on an awful blank, and call it “the great unknown.” It shows us only that they cannot find God in that way — not that there is no way of finding God, still less that God cannot find us or make His communications intelligible to us. Do not let us suffer men to think that God cannot be found because no one can find him out to perfection! He is our God.


Ø      Since God is our God, let us cultivate fellowship with Him. It is for this

purpose He hath revealed Himself, that we may come to Him (I John

1:1-3;Hebrews 10:19-22).


Ø      Let us seek to realize the blessedness of a known and happy relationship

to God, enjoyed through Christ, by the Spirit, in a life of penitence, faith,

devotion, and love (Isaiah 61:10; I Chronicles 12:18; Psalm 68:28; 46:1; 18:29; 146:5).


Ø      Let faith in the love of our God fill up our duties with glorious meaning,

and make the discharge of them a delight (ch. 6:5; 28:58; Leviticus 25:38; 11:45; Isaiah 41:10; Jeremiah 3:13; Micah 6:8; Romans 12:1).


Ø      Let the fact that God is our God create, confirm, and perpetuate our

assurance of immortal blessedness. See the wonderful words in

Matthew 22:31-32; Hebrews 11:16. As if God would be ashamed

to be called our God, if He did not mean to do something worthy of the

name! Wondrous grace! How perfect the reconciliation effected by

Christ,to bring together the holy God and sinful men in blest accord and union forever!


Seeing that the wide bearing and vast importance of these truths which are explicitly

 revealed, especially through the Son and through the Holy Ghost, let us seek to

realize the blessedness of a known and happy relationship with God, enjoyed through

Christ, by the Spirit, in a life of penitence, faith, devotion, and love.





         The First Commandment (v. 7)


7  “Thou shalt have none other gods before me.” In this, the first commandment,

the great principle and basis of all true religion is asserted –  monotheism, as opposed

to polytheism or pantheism THERE IS BUT ONE GOD, AND THAT GOD IS


(one on one) relations with men!



                                    The First Commandment (v. 7)


“Thou shalt have none other gods before me.” GOD IS THE SOLE OBJECT

OF WORSHIP!  So runs the first of the Ten Commandments. (For the specific

direction of each, see enumeration in Homily above on v. 6; for the completeness

of the whole, see Homily on vs. 22-33.) It has been well observed, in reference to the delivery of the Ten Commandments, that “this is the only authentic case in the history

of the world of a newly formed nation receiving at once, and from one legislator,

a complete code of laws for the direction of their whole future life.” They


If any one would wish a clear statement of Old Testament morality, he should be

referred to these sayings, or to our Savior’s brief epitome of them. (Sermon on

the Mount – Matthew 5-7).  We should do very wrongly if we expounded the

Decalogue merely as the Hebrews might have done at the time it first was given.

Comparison of corresponding or parallel passages in the New Testament will

help us in the exposition and enforcement of these ten words. A reference to

Matthew 5:17-20; 15:1-9; 19:16-19; 22:36-40; Luke 10:25-28; 16:31; John 5:46-47,

will help to show what regard our Lord paid to the Mosaic Law. Bearing this in

mind, we will endeavor now to sketch in outline an exposition of the first commandment,

using the clearer teaching of the gospel to give us any additional light and force in so

doing. Thus saith the Lord, “Thou shalt have none other gods before me.”



OTHER SUPPOSED GODS. (Compare ch. 4:19; Exodus 23:24-25.)

“None other gods before me,” i.e. over against me. I will suffer no

rival deity; you must worship no other god,” etc. Does, then, the

command permit Israel to suppose that there is any other god whom they

could possibly worship? Not by any means. It recognizes the fact of the

existence of idolatry round about them. According to the heathen

conception, there were gods many and lords many (I Corinthians 8:5).

Israel was not to regard one of all the gods adored by the heathen. This is the

very gracious way in which our Father in heaven would help His children in

those young days to higher thoughts about Himself. Is it not always the case

with young children now? They have to be told what they may or may not do,

and as they get older they will discover the reason. Indoctrinate into dogma

by means of precept. This was the way God taught Israel “when he was a

 child,” by putting THIS PRECEPT UP FRONT - “Thou shalt have

none other gods before me.” Had Moses discoursed to the people on

the philosophic excellence of monotheism, and so on, he would have been

virtually speaking in an unknown tongue. They would not have caught a

glimpse of his meaning; but they could understand this. And the faithful

obedience to this precept would be for them the very surest way of learning

the doctrine which lay beneath it. By serving only one God, they would

best come to learn that there was NO GOD BUT ONE!  But further. This

commandment is much more than a mere prohibition of what we usually

call idolatry. It is a declaration of the Divine intolerance of any rival in the

heart. Though we acknowledge that there is but one God, yet that is

practically the idol of our hearts which engrosses our dearest affections,

and with a view to which we shape our lives. God wants THE INNERMOST






BE CONCENTRATED ON GOD (See ch. 6:5; Mark 12:29-30). In our

text, the form is negative; the intent is positive. They are to KNOW NONE

BUT GOD that they may concentrate all their strength on God. In fact, the

command is equivalent to this: “Let all your:



Ø      FAMILY,

Ø      SOCIAL and




And let this be done from love. Is it asked, “Is this practicable? Can a man

put forth all his strength for God when his energy is absorbed in trade?”

We answer, “Yes; by regulating his business rightly, as God wills.”

“Can a mother put forth all her strength on loving God, when the care of her

family is taxing and even straining all her powers?” We answer, “Yes; by

training her children for God.” And so on in each one of life’s tasks.



“When you love me supremely I will redeem you from Egypt;” but “I have

redeemed you, therefore yield me your all.” The religions of man go out to

an unrevealed Being, if perchance he may be propitiated (Acts 17:23). 

Scriptural religion is the response of the heart of man to the revealed love

of THE INFINITE ONE!   Hence the gospel claim is, in substance, like the

Mosaic Law, although its form is new, and the view we get of Divine love is          larger (see Romans 12:1). In both, duty is the same - THE WHOLE HEART

OF MAN IS DEMANDED BY GOD (“My son, give me thine heart”

Proverbs 23:26).  But note the advance in light, tenderness, and strength in


Ø      the mercies of God;

Ø      the “beseeching” tone;

Ø      the “consecration of a living sacrifice” asked;

Ø      the reason given, “Your reasonable service.”


Here is the difference in the method of the gospel.




IT WAS THE RULE FOR “ALL”.  In their legislation, the supreme feature

was to be the NATIONAL RECOGNITION OF GOD.   And even now,

yea, ever, so far as the legislation of any people is based on righteousness, so

far as that legislation recognizes the rights of the Great Supreme, so far as a

people are loyal to God, to that extent will there be THE SUREST



Ø      Individual,

Ø      Family,

Ø      Social and



If ever a nation as such should “break His bands asunder” (Psalm 2:3),

and inaugurate an age of reason versus faith, instead of a reasonable faith,


can you not see that this is getting set up in America today, and even the

world, that the disposed Christ shall usher in an attempt by “THE

ANTI-CHRIST” to control the world?  Such I see gravitating into our

laps as thus I write!  I wonder if it is a coincidence that secular

America and the world are obsessed with the Mayan calendar ending

In 2012?  Compare the French Revolution, a blood bath, brought

about by the philosophy of  “the Enlightenment.” - CY – 2012)

And it is owing to the supreme importance of thus launching into

 the world a nation with God for its Lord, and righteousness for its

law, that the open transgression of this first commandment was so

 severely punished, (You can rest assured that there will be just as

severe, if not a more severe punishment in store for the United States

and Europe, who once upon a time, had the light, knew better, and

suppressing the light, have tumbled into a state of ignorance – CY – 2012)

as being a crime against the State as well as a sin against God

 (ch. 13:6-11, 13-18; 17:2-7).  (The frequent phrase “cut off” does not

refer to punishment in another life, but to a man’s being “cut off” from

the congregation.) And EVEN NOW,  FIDELITY TO GOD IS THE




IS PLAYING FOULLY (or with folly – CY - 2012) WITH THE





Ø      As a MIRROR!   IT REVEALS GUILT! The need of any such

command is a very humiliating fact. “The law is not made for a

 righteous man.” (I Timothy 1:9);“By law is the knowledge of sin”

(Romans 3:20).  This precept:


o       discloses THE WORLD’S SIN!

o       It shows the deep root that sin had in the natures even of the freed

people, that they should need such legislation to grave this precept

on their hearts.

o       It shows our sin, that we should need the written Law. If we were

What we ought to be, we should do God’s will spontaneously

without needing a written law at all!


Ø      As a JUDGE! This being the Law, we see how it is that as by law we

stand convicted, so by it we stand condemned, “not subject to the

 sentence of God” (Romans 8:7),  for failures innumerable; and our guilt

is the greater, since He who asks our heart reveals His own heart’s love

that He may call forth ours. This Law is a perpetual, silent accuser

(John 5:45).


Ø      As a child-guide (παιδαγωγὸςpaidagogosboy leader; escort;

schoolmaster) to Christ (see Galatians 3:24, Greek). God only is

greater than law. And He alone can restore those who, having broken law,

must needs, in the ordinary course of things, be regarded and dealt with as

law breakers. For restoration, three things are required:


o       Forgiveness;

o       Justification;

o       Re-creation.


Bare Law does not provide for any of these, but God in His Law has witnessed

concerning this great restorative scheme.  . (Which was planned before the creation

of the world!  (Revelation 13:8)  Jesus said “To this end was I born, and for

this cause came I into the world” (John 18:37; see 17:24). Paul says in Romans 3:21,

“But now there has been manifested a righteousness of God apart from law,

 being witnessed by the Law and the prophets,” -  So in Romans 1:16-17, “I am

not ashamed of the gospel of Christ…..for therein there is revealed a righteousness

of God by faith, with a view to [the production of] faith.” By believing in Christ,


THE MAN writing the Law on the heart, so that we obey and love God, not because

God says we must, but because we are remade so that we can do nothing else.


BY DIVINE GRACE,  that we shall instinctively see God’s will and do it, without

needing any precept at all. As by the regenerative efficacy of the Holy Ghost we

attain to this, shall we understand what it is to do the will of God on earth,

“even as it is done in heaven.”  (Matthew 6:10)



The Second Commandment (vs. 8-10)


8 “Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any

thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that

is in the waters beneath the earth:”  Here THE SPIRITUALITY OF

GOD IS ASSERTED and, in the prohibition of the use of images in the worship

of the Deity, all idolatry is denounced, and all deification of nature in any

sense is PROHIBITED.  By the Jews, this commandment was not always regarded,

for they were not infrequently seduced into following the idolatrous usages of

the nations around them. It does not appear, however, that, though they set

up images of the idol-gods whom they were thus led to worship, they ever

attempted to represent by image or picture the great God whom their

fathers worshipped — Jehovah — by whom this command was given; and

at a later period, when they had long renounced all idolatry, they became

noted as the one nation that adored the Deity as a spirit, without any

sensible representation of Him.  It appears that, by many of them at least, the

commandment was regarded as prohibiting absolutely the graphic and

plastic arts and this may account for the low state of these arts among the Jews,

and for the fact that they alone of the civilized nations of antiquity have left no

monuments of art for the instruction or admiration of posterity.


9 “Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I

the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the

fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of

them that hate me,” – Septuagint - προσκυνήσιες αὐτοῖς οὐδὲ μή λατρεύσης

αὐτοῖςproskunaesies autois oude mae latreusaes autoisyou shall not

bow down yourselves to them, nor serve them.  Every kind of worship of

images is forbidden, alike that of proskunesis (prostrate yourself; fawn;

crouch to, adore, worship) and that of latria (worship; serve).


10  And shewing mercy unto thousands” – i.e. to the thousandth generation

(compare ch.7:9) - “of them that love me and keep my commandments.”

Jesus said, “If a man love me and keep my words: and my Father will

love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

(John 14:23)



The Spirituality of Divine Worship (vs. 8-10)


It is sometimes said that there is a reason attached to this second commandment. It is scarcely accurate to affirm that. There is a double sanction attached to it to enforce it,

but there is no mention made here of a reason, strictly so called. We will, however, incorporate in this homily the true reason which underlies this precept. But we shall have to go to the New Testament for the clearest statement of that.  “God is a Spirit:  and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24).  We will  as briefly as we can consistently with clearness, open up the contents of this  command, and will then endeavor to unfold the double sanction by which it is guarded.


  • ITS CONTENTS. The first commandment claims for Jehovah alone the

love and worship of the people. The second warns off from any mode of

worship which would bear a resemblance to or which would be a

compromise with idolatry. While Israel was in Egypt, there had been a

general worship on the part of the Egyptians, of bird, beast, and reptile, not

for their own sake, but as representing some attribute of the invisible God.

The forms of Egyptian worship, the names of Pasht, Osiris, etc., must be

done away with. No representation of the object of worship was to be

allowed. However much men might have pleaded that sense was an aid to

faith, the stern “Thou shalt not” peremptorily barred the way. We know the

reason why, as they in their childhood did not. GOD IS A SPIRIT!  Being spirit,

it is only by spirit that He can be approached. No merely bodily act can

possibly be worship. Further, neither God nor any one of His attributes can

be represented by any physical form. Whatever idea of Jehovah may be

gained or retained through impressions derived from beholding a sensible

object with the bodily eye, will be an idea representing it, not him. It will

be a thought of God formed by the image and limited by it not the true

thought given by revelation. (This has great import in modern

Contemporary Christianity because of its obsession with sight.  The

Bible plainly teaches that “we are to walk by faith, not by sight” –

 II Corinthians 5:7 – CY – 2012)  Obviously, however, this command did not

forbid decorative designs in the tabernacle or the temple (compare Exodus

25:18, 20, 34; 26:32; Numbers 21:8-9; I Kings 7:25; 10:20). But

never were any creature-forms allowed, either as objects of worship or as

aids to it. Nor can we read through Hebrew history without seeing how

much need there was of such a command. Ere long, the people were

dancing round the golden calf! And in the days of Jeroboam two calves

were set up — one in Bethel, another in Dan. But surely the history of

Christendom is even a sadder one than that of the Hebrews. Ere four

centuries of the Christian era had passed away, how did the Christian

Church lapse into repeated breaches of this law? “An enormous train of

different superstitions was gradually substituted in the place of true religion

and genuine piety.... Images were not as yet very common. But it is certain

that the worship of the martyrs was modeled by degrees according to the

religious services that were paid to the gods before the coming of Christ.”f2

It is true, indeed, that in 726 A.D. Leo III. issued an ordinance forbidding

the use of images in churches, as heathenish and heretical, and a Council of

Constantinople, in 754 A.D., sanctioned that condemnation. Another

Council, which met at Nice in 789 A.D., declared the previous Council

heretical, and ordained the worship of pictures in churches. The decisions

of this Council were rejected at a Council in Frankfort, in 794 A.D. Also at

another in Constantinople, in 815 A.D., all worshipping of pictures and

images was forbidden. In 869 A.D. the iconoclasts were condemned.

Thomas Aquinas, in the thirteenth century, affirmed a threefold use of

images, and declared that like homage is due to the image or Christ as to

Christ Himself! And we know but too well what the later history of Rome

has been, how pagan rites have become more and more mingled with

Christian service. The Savior is approached through the crucifix, and fed

upon through the bread; and, as if blind to the warnings of history,

ritualism openly proclaims that the best exposition of doctrine is that which

meets the eye rather than the ear. Perhaps it is not to be wondered at, that

in Roman Catholic catechisms the second commandment is left out; and

not even Luther was sufficient of a reformer to restore the missing law in

his catechism — an easy way, indeed, of blinding the people to the evil of a

mistaken ritual, to leave out the authoritative command, obedience to

which would render such evil impossible!   (To this I refer the reader

to Numbers 32:23 and Spurgeon’s sermon on the sin of omission – CY –




is drawn from the Divine nature, the second from the Divine administration.


Ø      From the Divine nature. “I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.”

“They that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”

God is jealous:


o       For truth in His worship. He would have us think of Him as glorious

in  power, wisdom, righteousness, holiness, and love. Our thoughts of

God can be but limited at the best. They need not be untrue. But

untrue and dishonoring to Him they certainly will be if we come at

 them through the means of any graven image. We do not even

except the crucifix. It represents the bodily form of Christ. It may

represent the nails, the wounds, the spear, the crown of thorns, the

pain-crushed brow; and we confess it may be possible, by looking

at these physical marks, to receive so vivid an impression of the

physical suffering that we may be wrought up to agony in thinking of it!

But even then this is only knowing Christ after the flesh; it is

making an idol of His humanity; and in sympathy with the

anguish of His bodily woes, we may altogether miss the acting of faith

in THE ATONING SACRIFICE  which lay among the things

 unseen and eternal!


o       For spirit in His worship. The worship paid to a spiritual Being is

nothing if it be not spiritual worship. But in the endless bowings

and prostrations, genuflexions, cross-markings, and waving of the

body at the word “Jesus,” there is, at least in appearance, a taking

for granted that bodily postures are spiritual attitudes.


o       God would have man lifted up to a higher level by the worship of Him.

But the sorry record in history of the breaches of the second law shows

us four transitions:


v     An object which at first represents the Being who is

 worshipped, comes at length to be worshipped.


v     Worship paid through the body will sink to

merely bodily worship.


v     When the lofty platform of spiritual worship is quitted,

religious service will inevitably lose its meaning. SENSE

FIRST COMES AS “an aid to faith,” AND THEN



v     When this is the case, the vitalizing force of religion

is gone, and man, sinking in religious vitality, sinks also

in morality  (see Jeremiah 7 for an illustration of this in the

Hebrew people; see Romans 1 for illustrations of it in the

Gentile world; open your eyes in the 21st century to see

in our contemporary world – CY - 2011).


Ø      From the Divine administration. “Visiting the iniquities,” etc.

It would not have seemed wonderful to have found this second sanction

appended to such sins as murder, adultery, etc.; but how is it that it follows

on so apparently slight an offense as the use of graven images? Because of the

sure and inevitable quadruple transition already referred to. He who

comes to lose the life of religion will, so far, be UNDERMINING THE

FOUNDATIONS OF MORALITYY,  not only for himself, BUT FOR



o       What a man is and what his family are or may be, are regarded as

bound up together by an unalterable law of God.


o       Evil follows on from generation to generation. A ghastly

inheritance to hand down — formalism and idolatry!


o       But if a man maintains the true spiritual worship of God in his

 family, that too will be handed down to those who follow him as

a priceless heritage; not only to those who come in the physical line:

our Lord’s words in John 8:37-47 should teach us to look beyond that.


o       In the mercy of God the influence of a man’s good is more lasting than

the influence of his evil. Evil — to third or fourth generation. Good — to

thousands [of generations]. The influence of Paul, e.g. at this

moment, is prodigious; that of Nero is nil. Learn, in conclusion:


v     We receive an influence from the generations which preceded us;

we shall transmit one to the generations that will follow.

(We do not think this latter consideration is sufficiently pressed

on the people, either on its physiological or on its spiritual side.)


v     Whoever wishes to ensure a prolonged influence that shall

Blessedly affect generations to come, let him bend all his force

to the upholding of the worship of God in purity, in spirit,

in truth. So much depends on this.  The weal of the land in

which we dwell is dependent thereon. (I should think that

the Preamble to the Constitution says it adequately “TO


Oh! for our own sakes, for our country’s sake, for our

children’s sakes, let us contend earnestly for the

 maintenance of the worship of God in simplicity and

 in truth!




                        The Iniquity of the Fathers Visited on the Children

                                                            (v. 8-10)


·         A FACT AMPLY ATTESTED. Borne out:


Ø      By Scripture instances (Joshua 7:24; II Samuel 12:14; I Kings 21:21,29)

Ø      By observation and experience. The case of children suffering in mind,

body, character, and fortune, as the result of the sins of parents, is one of

the commonest and saddest things in life.

Ø       Science. The law of heredity. (For illustrations, see Rev. Joseph Cook’s


Ø       Literature. Especially do the Greek tragedies give expression to, and

strikingly work out, this thought.




natural, quite as much as of revealed, religion. The following

considerations relieve it only in part:


Ø      Every original disadvantage will be taken into account by the Searcher

of hearts in estimating personal responsibility (Luke 12:48).

Ø      The final judgment on a man’s character will turn, not on inherited

tendencies, but on what he has made himself by his own moral

determinations (Ezekiel ch.18).

Ø      The less favorable conditions in which the sins of parents have placed

the individual cannot turn to his ultimate disadvantage if he struggle well

and persevere to the end (see ‘Speaker’s Commentary’ on Exodus 20:5).

Ø      It is open to the evil-doer to cut off the entail of punishment by choosing

for himself the way of righteousness (Ezekiel 18:15-18). God is

reluctant to contemplate the heritage of evil descending further than the

third or fourth generation, while thousands of generations are spoken of in

connection with the blessing.  (Exodus 34:7)

Ø      Experience of the effects of a parent’s evil-doing is designed to act as a

deterrent from like sins. The child is less likely to imitate the parents’ vices,

suffering these results, than if entirely exempt.

Ø      The Law is the consequence of a constitution of society originally

intended for the conveyance, not of evils, but of blessings. This is a

consideration of importance as throwing light on the equity, as well as on

the goodness, of Divine providence. The design of the organic constitution

of society is obviously to hand down to succeeding generations the moral

gains of those which precede. It is sin which has wrought the mischief,

reversing the operation of a constitution in itself beneficent, and making

that which is good work death to so many.


·         Lesson — The tremendous responsibility of parents, and of all who have it

in their power to influence the destinies of posterity.




                                    The Third Commandment (v. 11)


11 “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain:” - literally,

Thou shalt not take [or lift] up the Name of Jehovah thy God to vanity. This

commandment forbids not only all false swearing by the Name of God, but all

profanation of that Name by an irreverent or light use of it (Leviticus 19:12) -

 “for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.”




                             Reverent Regard for the Divine Name (v.11)


The “Name” of God is the form of speech for God Himself. “To take” the

Name of God means “to take it up” — to use it in any way, which may be

done either by speaking to Him, of Him, for Him, or against Him. “To take

up this Name in vain” means to take it up falsely or vainly. And inasmuch

as it has been so grievously common to use the Name of God profanely in

oaths, this third commandment has come to be regarded chiefly as a

prohibition against swearing. It is that, but it is a great deal more. This

commandment is “exceeding broad” (Psalm 119:96).  It may be wronged, not

only by an undue limitation of it, but also by a too slavish adherence to the letter

of it; e.g. according to the teaching of the rabbis, certain oaths were harmless if

the Name of God was not specifically mentioned in them (Matthew 23:16-22).

Further, the expression “in vain” was interpreted as meaning “if

you take an oath you must fulfill it;” take as many oaths as you please, so

long as you do not break them, and thus turn them into falsehood. The

effect of this cold and superficial teaching of the rabbis was twofold. It

created artificial distinctions which our Savior did not recognize, and it

obliterated such as were of great importance in His eye. It is needful for us,

then, to be guided by the spirit of our Lord’s teaching, if we would rightly

develop this third law. Since our Savior in His Sermon on the Mount

removed the glosses with which the rabbis had overlain the Law and

restored it to its pristine clearness and purity.



We are all aware that some have regarded our Savior’s words, Swear

not at all,” as prohibitive of solemn oath-taking in a court of justice.

We cherish all respect for those who so regard them, but we cannot view

them in this light, for the following reasons:


Ø      The occasion on which our Lord uses the words seems to refer rather

to habits in private life.

Ø      Christ and His apostles solemnly appealed to Heaven.

Ø      In Hebrews 6:17-20, the oath of God is spoken of by the sacred writer, and

we cannot suppose this would have been if all oath-taking were wrong.

We cannot think that, even by way of accommodation, the Most High

would represent Himself as doing that which it would be always wrong for

His creatures to do.


Ø      In prophetic language there is predicted a swearing by the Name of

God, which is regarded as obviously right (ch. 6:13; Isaiah 45:23).

These reasons seem to us to set the matter entirely at rest. And the view

that Christ was referring to men’s ordinary conversation when he said,

“Swear not at all,” is confirmed by Matthew 5:37; the meaning of

which evidently is: “If it is needful for you to interlard your conversation

with sundry adjurations, you are the victims of a spirit of falsehood which

has ‘ the evil one’ for its father!”  Further, this precept covers a far wider

range than that of swearing. It forbids any “taking up” of the Divine Name

which is not true as to loyalty of purpose, actual fact, and after-fulfillment.

This precept manifestly prohibits:


o       All scoffing at sacred things; not merely at the word “God,” or at

the doctrine of the Divine existence, but ridiculing the Bible as the

Book of God, the Sabbath as the day of God, Christians as the people

of God, and religion as obedience to God. The mild and supercilious

scorn of modern skepticism is equally a violation of this precept

it tramples under foot the Son of God  (Hebrews 10:26-29).


o       Perjury is another form of violation of this command. The idea of

swearing is that of calling God to witness; and to invoke that great

 and awful Name to witness a lie is one of the most grievous breaches

of this law.


o       Profanity also is here forbidden, i.e. taking the Name of God on

the lips on every trifling occasion. This is now thought, as indeed

it is, ungentlemanly, to a far greater extent than was the case fifty years

ago. (Written 200 years ago – television and the cinema plays their

role – about 25 years ago I was mailing a letter at the post office

in Ferguson, KY (pop. 500).   A couple of preteen girls came down

the street using terrible language. I asked them where they learned

it and that is what they hear for entertainment – now think of Hip-

Hop and Gangsta Rap – this passage says “GOD WILL HOLD

US RESPONSIBLE” and will hold court some day!  Jesus said,

“Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account

thereof in the day of judgment!” - Matthew 12:36 – C - 2012).  So

far well. Only let us take care that for a custom to be out of fashion,

does not act with us more powerfully than its offensiveness to God, in

inducing us to give it up! Some are more concerned at a hole in their

manners than at a breach of morals. These things ought not so to be.


o       Frivolity in reference to Divine things is a transgression of this

command. This is by no means to be confounded either with scoffing or

with profanity. It may be found where there is great reverence for

God, great kindness of heart, combined with an excessive fondness

for raising a laugh. (While I enjoy a good laugh and appreciate

that God created us with humor, I personally, have never read

A FUNNY STORY IN THE BIBLE!  I think that is because

SIN IS A SERIOUS THING!  - CY – 2012).  And where this is

the case, even sacred things are but too seldom exempt from frivolous

treatment. We recall some acquaintance whose chief, yea, whose only

apparent fault, was the extreme tendency to turn everything into a joke,

even things most sacred. Many were ready to excuse the frivolity for

the sake of the talent it revealed. But they are “nowhere” now. Their

levity was their ruin. Wit and humor have indeed a place of no mean

value in social life. Social evils are often exposed more effectively in

scorn and satire than in graver speeches. But there is no tendency of

any man which needs to be more wisely cultured, more carefully and

prayerfully guarded, and more conscientiously directed, than

that to which we are now referring. Apart from this, there is exceedingly

great danger of its leading to the “TAKING THE NAME OF GOD



o       There may be a breach of this commandment without frivolity (as

usually understood), even where there is no sense of humor and no talent

for witticisms, in the indulgence of a vicious habit, much more easily

formed than broken off, of embellishing the conversation with certain

wellknown epithets. We know what these were in Christ’s time (see

Matthew 23:16-22; 5:33-36). This is conceited talk, and it is sinful talk.


o       False teaching for God breaks this law (see Jeremiah 23. 21-24, 31).

There are several ways by which, in teaching others, the Name of God

may be taken falsely. Either:


v     by declaring as God’s what He has not said; or by


v     by calling in question the truth of what He has spoken.


The first was common in the days of Jeremiah; the second and third are

at once more ancient and more modern. Whenever any ambassador

for God gives his own thoughts as if they were Gods message,

he is taking the Name of God in vain. Or if a man, while professing to

speak for God, is speaking with the desire to exalt himself, he is guilty

of the same sin.


o       Hollowness and formality in the professed worship of God are

Breaches of the third commandment. We take God’s Name in

vain if we sing “the songs of Zionwith a vacant heart, or

outwardly join in the prayers of the sanctuary without devotion in

 the soul (Ezekiel 33:30-31; Isaiah 29:13). Oh, the number of times

we have been on our knees and have used the Name of God in

“indolent vacuity of thought!” “Who is able to stand before this

holy Lord God?”


o       We may break this commandment by vowing unto God, and then

not fulfilling the vow. When at the Lord’s table, we take the sacramental

oath of obedience to our Great Commander, and if we are not true to that,

we add sin to sin by “taking the Name of God in vain.”


  • HOW IS THIS PRECEPT GUARDED? “The Lord will not hold him

guiltless,” etc. God may or may not mark this sin by visitations of temporal

judgment; there are many cases in which levity has been the ruin of a man,

even temporally. But the probability is that the more occult and deceptive

forms of this sin will leave no appreciable mark on a man’s earthly career.


AND A MAN’S OWN SOUL!  Hollow prayers bring no blessing; empty

worship no growth in grace. Violated vows will bring down the displeasure

of God. If God were to visit upon us all the sins of unreality and formalism,

of mechanical routine, and of heartless work in His service, we should be

lost men! “God often sees more in our prayers to disgust him than to please

Him,” says Charnock. The Lord pardon the iniquity of our holy things!




Ø      As a probe. Possibly, when a preacher takes this text, some may say,

“We don’t need that. We never break God’s law so!” Possibly not, in

The conventional sense in which the text is often used now. But what

about that conversation laden with frivolity? What about that lesson

which had more of self than of God in it? (“To whom much is

given, much is required.” – Luke 12:48 – CY – 2011)  What about

the songs of the sanctuary, enjoyed for the sake of the music, without

a thought of the words? What about the forgotten vows? Surely we

can all recall so many breaches of this third commandment that,




Ø      To quicken to penitence. By so much as our conviction is deep that

we have broken this commandment a thousand times, by so much should

our penitence be deep and definite before God.


Ø      To lead us to earnest entreaties for forgiveness. If we were not

permitted to ask this, it would be all over with us, even if the third

commandment were the whole of the Law.


Ø      To lead to fervent prayer for daily heart-renewal.Out of the

abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh (Matthew 12:34).

If the heart is right the tongue will be right.If a man offend

 not in word, the same is a perfect man”  (James 3:2).  Well

may we pray that every word we speak may be conformed to truth

 - for in each of the eight ways named above there is a violation

 of truth.  “For we can do nothing against the truth, but for

the truth.” (II Corinthians 13:8)   God revealed Himself unto

Moses as “abundant … in truth” (Exodus 34:6) In the New

Testament, Jesus Christ is revealed as “TRUTH” -  (John 8:32;14:6)

When our heart, thoughts, words, and deeds are in harmony

with God’s nature and will, then shall we be true to the duty

implied, and free from the sin forbidden, in the third commandment.



The Fourth Commandment (vs. 12-15)


12 “Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath

commanded thee.”  This phraseology implies that the Sabbath institute was already

well known to the people of Israel; so that this commandment was intended, not to

enact a new observance, but to enforce the continuance of an observance which

had come down to them from earlier times. The Sabbath was to be kept by BEING

SANCTIFIED.  This means that it was to be consecrated to God TO BE USED

AS HE APPOINTED.  The sanctification of any object “always goes back to an

act of the Divine will, to Divine election and institution. In other words, it is always a

state in which the creature [or institute] is bound to God by the appointment of

God Himself, which is expressed by קֹדֶשׁ הִקְדִישׁ קִדֵּשׁ קָדושׁ (Septuagint). The

sanctification of the Sabbath, accordingly, was the consecration of that day

to the Lord, to be observed as He had enjoined, that is, as a day of rest

from all servile work and ordinary occupations. Among the Jews, those

who were careful to keep this law “rested the Sabbath day according to the

commandment’’ (Luke 23:56). Not, however, in mere indolence and idle

vacancy, unworthy of a man. Not thus could the day be sanctified to the

Lord. Man had to “release his soul and body from all their burdens, with all

the professions and pursuits of ordinary life, only in order to gather himself

together again in God with greater purity and fewer disturbing elements,

and renew in him the might of his own better powers” (Ewald, ‘Antiquities

of Israel,’ p. 102). In the Sabbath institute, therefore, lies the basis of spiritual

worship and pious service in Israel.  13 “Six days thou shalt labor, and do all thy

work:  14  But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it

thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy

manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor

any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy

manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou.

15 And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and

that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty

hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God

commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.”



The Sabbath, or a Rest-Day for Man (vs. 12-15)


(For a notice of the variations between the wording of this command in

Exodus 20. and in this chapter, see Exposition.) No Christian preacher

could wisely deal homiletically with the question of the Divine intent in the

appointment of a seventh-day rest, without noting, in connection with our

text, the teaching of our Lord and His apostles thereon. In developing the

true doctrine and use of our rest day, let us:



HEBREW SABBATH MUST START. The Hebrew Sabbath has a

far-back look. “The seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God.”

What spaces of time the six days” represent we may perhaps never know

in this life. One thing is clear — a “day” of Divine action must be indefinitely

longer than one of man’s days. This far-back look, moreover, reveals to us a

method of Divine work, after which ours is to be modeled. As man’s

nature is made in GOD’S IMAGE  SO OUR TIME IS TO BE

PORTIONED OUT AFTER GOD’S ORDER!   Further, the basis of the

right observance of the day is that of “rest.” The word “Sabbath” means that;

whatever else may have been connected with the day, THE NOTION OF

REST LAY BENEATH IT ALL!  While the Hebrews were to regard the

observance of the day as a part of their covenanted duty as a nation, yet the

rest was not for them as Hebrews only, but as men. The Sabbath was made

for man, not man for the Sabbath  (Mark 2:27).  Work was to

be laid aside, that man might give himself up to a holy and happy

 day of rest and worship. With a view, moreover, to securing all this, the

work of the six other days was to be arranged. (Giving true meaning to the

modern idea of “DAY PLANNER” – CY – 2012)



DIRECTION. Never is there anything out of harmony with this benign

command to rest (see Exodus 16:29; 23:9-12; [even here, the idea of a

day of rest was incorporated by God to include a Sabbath of years

culminating in every seventh cycle, a sabbatical year followed on the

fiftieth by the YEAR OF JUBILEE – CY – 2012) 31:13; 34:21; 35:1-3;

Leviticus 19:3, 30; [see Hebrews 10:25]; 23:3; 26:2; Numbers 15:32-36).

Of such importance to the good of the people was their rest day,

that if a man attempted to turn it into a day of common work,

HE WAS STONED!  Severity to the one WAS A GUARD OF MERCY

TO ALL!  If the people could not or would not guard their rest

day for themselves, THE GREAT LORD WHO GAVE IT WOULD

SHIELD IT FOR THEM ALL!  In course of time these precepts

were grievously disobeyed, either by an entire neglect of the day, or

by a merely formal observance of it (II Chronicles 36:21; Nehemiah 9:14;

10:31; [this verse is the remedy for such neglect – would not the

secular media today have a field day criticizing those who will

Not sell, buy or trade on the Sabbath?  - CY  - 2012]; 13:15-16;

Isaiah 1:13; 56:2; 58:13-14;  [note the promise of God in this last

verse – the reason we don’t experience this is we do not believe

Him! – CY – 2012); Jeremiah 17:19-27; [these verses explain what

is going on in America under its recent and present leadership!

Note the promise of God in vs. 24-25 – compare the warning in

v. 27 – CY – 2012);  Ezekiel 20:12-13; 22:8, 26). Later on, when

Jesus Christ came, many had lost the spirit of the day in the letter; so that

the day which was given to man as a boon of mercy had come to

be a chafing yoke and a grievous burden. Consequently,

not even Jesus Christ was a sufficiently strict Sabbath keeper

in the judgment of the -Pharisees (Matthew 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-28; 3:1-5;

Luke 13:10-17; John 5:1-16; 7:23-24). Hence, Jesus in his teaching

respecting the Sabbath, did not divert it from, but restored the Sabbath

to, its original intent. The Sabbath as God made it, was restful,

beautiful, and free. (No doubt a true picture of what heaven will be

and to get us thinking that way – CY – 2012)  As rabbinical teaching had

perverted it, it was rigid and burdensome. Men came to be on the Sabbath

under a hard yoke; but it was mans yoke, not God’s.



AGREE IN SPIRIT. We find in the New Testament some passages

which indicate some observance of the first day of the week (John

20:19-26; Acts 20:7; I Corinthians 16:2; Revelation 1:10). It is

remarkable how few there are of such. We have no specific precept to

direct us with regard to a Christian Sabbath. There is nothing very clear on

the matter, either in the Gospels or the Epistles. Judaism is waning; what is

peculiar to it dies away; what is worldwide and for humanity, lives. We

seem to see the seventh day receding from our gaze, its luster fades and is

lost in the brightness of the first day. There is a dissolving view. Winter is

succeeded by spring. Here is something which has Christ’s sanction and

apostolic warrant, viz. meeting on the first day. It is the day of religious

assembling, the day of “breaking bread.” The GOD OF SINAI has

 invested the SON OF MAN  with all power in heaven and in earth.

He is the Lord of the Sabbath. Memories of the great deliverance

wrought by Him eclipse those of the deliverance from Egypt.

Wherefore, ever after, rest-day becomes “the Lords day.” Ignatius

says, “Let every friend of Christ celebrate the Lord’s day.” Justin Martyr,

On the Lord’s day, all Christians in the city and in the country assemble

together, because that is the day of the Lord’s resurrection.” Tertullian,

“The Lord’s day is the holy day of the Christian Church. So gradually,

however, did the seventh-day Sabbath change into the first-day rest,

that we find for a while both days observed. Accordingly

we find, in ‘The Apostolic Constitution,’ both days named as days for the

assembling of the Church; that on the Sabbath and on the Sunday the

slaves should rest from their labors, and attend church with the rest to hear

the sermon. But as the new skin is forming under the surface, the old is

getting looser and looser. Yet for a time, there are two coverings. Soon,

however, the old is shuffled off, and only the new is seen. The Sabbath is

lost, but rest-day reappears as the Lords day!


  • HOW STANDS THE REST-DAY NOW? The fourth commandment

had a natural basis and a religious one. It gave a day of rest for man as

man, and, as such, has never been repealed. God has never taken away the

world’s rest-day. It is ours still — A PRICELESS HERITAGE.  The

religious side of the Hebrew Sabbath, though abolished so far as the

observance of Jewish rites is concerned, was at once taken up by the

Christian Church, and Christians have, as we well know, by meeting for

worship on the first day, recognized the principle of a worlds rest-day,

and have used it for the higher purposes of the kingdom of heaven.

And now to us the Lord’s day is:


Ø      our day of rest from earthly toil;

Ø      the day of hallowed calm;

Ø      of richest memory;

Ø      of united worship;

Ø      of mutual recognition of our common relationship to one God

and Savior; Jesus Christ!

Ø      of spiritual training;

Ø      of holiest service for the Master;




Ø      As men, let us regard it as an inestimable boon for the right use of which

we are responsible to God. We are so made, as to our physical

constitution, that we require one day’s rest in seven. (This is the

Great Architect’s design if we kick against it, it is to our own hurt



Ø      As citizens, we have a trust to guard for our fellow-countrymen.

Legislation can never direct a man how to spend his rest-day, but it may

do something to guard it for him. (When I first came to Hopkinsville in

1966 Kress was the first business to open on Sunday.  I never went

in the store again.  That store is now nowhere in existence in Hopkinsville

nearly a half century later.  Within the last few years, O’Charley’s pushed

for Sunday alcohol sales which is their prerogative to disobey the

commandment of the Lord, however I do not have to be a part of it.

I have never entered O’Charley’s since which is my privilege. That

business may be around today and for some time longer but eventually,

by casting itself on the side of the world, it do will go into demise.

this reminds me of current events.  The NFL football playoffs –

much in the news has been Tim Tebow, quarterback of the Denver

Broncos.  Tim has been heavily scrutinized by sportswriters and

mocked very sacrilegiously by a vulgar and secular, so called

comedian, primarily for his religious beliefs.  On the internet

yesterday, staring me in the face was a photo of Tim with John

3:16 painted below his eyes, probably taken while at the University

of Florida, [which by the way has been outlawed by the National


THE ABOVE MENTIONED COMEDIAN, minus the vulgarity!]

The message on the internet was that in the Broncos 29-23 victory

over Pittsburgh on Sunday, Tim Tebow averaged 31.6 yards per throw,

passed for 316 yards and to top it off, the last fifteen minutes of the

game, the television company got a rating of 31.6% of the audience.

Kress, O’Charley’s and Tim Tebow have something in common,

with a God who is not as a Deist might imagine, but apparently

is involved  in things of the world, taking man in his own craftiness

{I Corinthians 3:10, 1:18-21, 25-28 – Take this how you wish but

I expect on the day of Judgment that there will be many such

revelations.   Until then, remember that the word of God says “Some

men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and

some men they follow after.  Likewise also the good works of

some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise

cannot be hid.”   I Timothy 5:24-25} – Now the above is not the

general rule but at times God seems to take things in His own hands

which should give “modern man” which should give him some form


While we use the rest wisely, so that it makes us not only brisker animals,

but holier men, let us also give others the rest.


Ø      As Christians, we have a sacred day for sanctuary worship, and for home

and school instruction. We should do everything to show the young that

the Sunday is a bright, light, cheery day, remembering that whatever

 helps best to health, rest, worship, and holiness is, and always has

 been, lawful on the Sabbath day.


Ø      As workers for God, the rest day is our glorious day of special service

for Christ and for souls, in the very fatigue of which the spirit finds

refreshment. Then surely we enter into the Master’s spirit. Our meat is

to do the will of Him who hath sent us, and to finish His work.

(John 4:34)




                                                The Sabbath (vs. 12-15)


·         WHAT? The essential point in the institution is the sanctification to God

            of a seventh part of our time, of one day in seven. Which day of the seven

is observed is indifferent, not in the sense of being left to individual choice,

but in respect of any inherent sanctity in one day above another

(Romans 14:5). The day is made holy by the Divine appointment, and

by the uses we put it to. We sanctify the Sabbath:


Ø      By observing it as a day of rest from secular toil. The need of a rest day

in the week is universally acknowledged. Every effort should be made to

extend the boon as widely as possible, and to avoid infraction of the rights

of others in connection with it. Our aim should be to lessen Sunday work,

not to increase it. Apply to railways, steamboats, post-office work,

museums, etc. (In this day air travel.  CY – 2020)


Ø      By devoting it principally to religious uses. It is only by conserving the

Sabbath as a day sacred to religion that we can hope to preserve it as a day

free from toil. We need, for spiritual purposes, all the opportunities it gives



·         FOR WHOM? The answer is — for man. This is shown:


Ø      From its primeval origin. That the Sabbath dates from creation is

implied in the narrative in Genesis 2:3, in the terms of the command

(Exodus 20:8-11), in Christ’s words (Mark 2:27), in the argument

in Hebrews 4:3-4, and in the recently deciphered Chaldean traditions.

While it may be argued, that if designed to commemorate creation, this is

a matter which concerns all men equally with the Jews.


Ø      From its place in the moral law. It is certainly remarkable, if the Sabbath

is a purely Jewish institution, that it should be found embodied in the first

of those two tables which by their contents, as well as by the manner of

their promulgation, are shown to be of a distinctly moral nature.


Ø      From the respect paid to it by the prophets (see Isaiah 58:13-14).

The language here employed is very different from that which prophets

were accustomed to use of purely ceremonial institutions.


Ø      From Christs defense of it. It is noticeable, and supports our view, that

while frequently charged with breaking the Sabbath law, the Savior never

once admits the charge. He carefully defends himself against it. He

unceremoniously clears away the rubbish which the Pharisees had heaped

upon the institution; but the Sabbath itself He never speaks of as a thing to

be abolished. He sets it in its true light, and shows high respect for it.


Ø      From its reappearance in the new dispensation in a form adapted to the

genius and wants of Christianity. The name Sabbath is not found in the

New Testament, applied to the first day of the week, but the thing appears

in that weekly festival of the Apostolic Churchthe Lord’s day.


Ø      From the proved adaptation of the Sabbath to the constitution of mans

nature. The seventh-day rest is found by experience to be essential to

man’s welfare. It ministers to:


o       physical health,

o       mental vigor,

o       moral purity, and

o       religious earnestness.


The Sabbath-keeping nations are by far the:


o       happiest,

o       most moral, and

o       most prosperous.


These reasons combine to show that this institution is one intended and adapted for THE WHOLE HUMAN FAMILY!


·         WHY? The institution, as seen above, is grounded in deep necessities

of man’s nature. It is, moreover, a suitable recognition of the Creator’s

right to our worship and service. But further, it is:


Ø      Commemorative


o       of creation,

o       of redemption


in the case of Israel, of redemption from Egypt (v. 15); in the case of



Ø      Prefigurative of the rest of heaven (Hebrews 4:9).




The Fifth Commandment (v. 16)


16 “Honor thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath

commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may

go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”

The germ of society is the family, and the family is sustained only as the

authority and rule of the heads of the house are upheld and respected.

The command, then, to honor parents may be justly regarded as asserting


ARRANGEMENTS. Where parents are not honored, A FLAW LIES





Honor Due to Parents and the Religion of the Home Life  (v. 16)


Many are the passages in the Word of God which speak of or refer to the duty of

children to their parents; e.g. Here: ch. 21:18-21; (concerning this reference:

critics today would say that this is barbarious.  Consider that Leviticus

20:9, cited below tells us it is the child’s fault!   If this was accepteded

in America, it would put a lot of graduate schools in psychology

out of business!  With what is going on in the schools of America and

her city streets is like the proverbial  “calling the kettle black.”

This  reminds me of the problem of divorce in America – Jesus said Moses

allowed divorce “because of the hardness of the people’s hearts”  Mark 10:4-9)

– In fact, if the truth is known, these two issues are greatly entwined! - CY –

2012);  Exodus 21:15, 17;  Leviticus 19:3; 20:9; Deuteronomy 27:16; Psalm 78:5-8;

(This last reference, the prayer of Daniel in Daniel 9:3-19 would be most

appropriate in addressing this great personal and national sin! – CY – 2012);

Proverbs 10:1; 13:1; 20:20; 23:22; 30:17; Jeremiah 35:18-19; (Consider this

last reference with its promise – think of all the people who desire sons!!! –

- compare Psalm 127:3-5 -CY – 2012); Ezekiel 22:7; Matthew 15:4-9;

Colossians 3:20. It is worthy of careful noting, that when God would launch

forth into the world a new national life, he lays great stress on the recognition of and

regard to family sacredness. (So I guess the present status of the American family is

another nail in our “Coffin of Demise” – CY – 2012)  At the outset of the

redemption from Egypt, family life was specially hallowed (compare Exodus 12:24-27;

13:8-9).  The covenant of circumcision handed down from Abraham was to be

observed.  Children were to be sealed as the Lord’s, and brought up in His fear.

That is here assumed.  It was the understood law. And now, when a moral code

for the nation and for the world for all time is to be laid down, the very next

precept to those relating immediately to the honor due to God Himself, is

this — “Honor thy father and thy mother.” Not, indeed, that they were to

render them a blind obedience, for see Ezekiel 20:18-19. If the parents

were bad, the best honor the children can render them is to become better

than they were. So that we may note, once for all, in passing, that the

commandment recognizes it as INCUMBENT ON PARENTS TO SEE




our homiletic application of this fifth commandment, we shall assume this to be the

case.  It is, indeed, understood by many, that this command is to be regarded not

only as requiring obedience in the family, but “as requiring the preserving

the honor and performing the duties belonging to every one, in their several

places and relations, as superiors, inferiors, or equals;” and as forbidding

“the neglecting of or doing anything against the honor and duty which

belongeth to every one, in their several places and relations.” Doubtless

this is so. But there is quite as much as we can compass in the brief space

afforded us, in the specific duty named in the text. Let us:




Ø      During the earlier stages of life, while needing the fostering care and

sheltering love of the home, implicit obedience is a child’s first duty. We

not only say that it is next to his duty to God, but that it is a part of it.

The parent’s precepts may be distasteful, even rigid, but if they are right,

it is the child’s part implicitly to obey.


Ø      Honoring parents is the form which obedience will take when the child

is growing up towards manhood. No wise parent would think of directing a

lad of sixteen as closely as he would a child of six years; at the same time,

though the father may give him more liberty, it may not be either wise or

right on the son’s part to take all the liberty which is given. At that

age his own sense of honor and right ought to be sufficiently strong

 to guide him; and respect and reverence for his parents will create a loyal

regard to their wishes when once they are known, and will lead him to

deny himself a great deal that might be gratifying to him, rather than cause

pain to or cross the wishes of those to whom he owes his life. Rude

words to a parent, “answering again” (today known as sass) disputing

his rule in the house, will be utterly out of the question where a youth

 wishes to live in the fear of God.


Ø      Supporting them may become a duty. There will come a time, if the

parents are spared to see their children grow up in life, when they will lean

on the children, rather than the children on them. If the children are

worthy, they will let their parents lean on them, and will show them that

they can be as faithful to their parents in their weakness, as the parents

when in their strength were to them.


Ø      Becoming an honor to them is another way of honoring them, i.e. by

living so that they can feel proud of what their children are, quite apart

from what they do. If a father can say, “My son never gave me an uneasy

thought about him,” that is such a testimony as a son might well wish him

to be able to bear.


Ø      By guarding very jealously the sacredness and purity of America’s family

life, the commandment may be obeyed. We may honor our parents by

honoring that holy marriage tie which made them what they were

 to us.


Ø      By guarding and handing down to others the holy faith in which they

have trained us (Psalm 78:1-8; I Chronicles 28:9). We may well

desire to honor them by taking on our lips that dear Name which

gladdened them in life and sustained them in death.


Ø      There is another way of honoring parents which we would there were no

occasion to name. But there is a drift clearly to be discerned in some

directions of American life, which makes a warning imperative (see

Matthew 15:1-9). The Jewish rabbis put their Church and their

rabbinical rules between a child and his parents. Modern lawyers

are doing the same now. Hence this rule: Honor your parents by refusing

to let anyone edge his way in between you and them.





Ø      Here let us set in the front a reason given by Paul in Ephesians 6:1,

“It is right (δίκαιον dikaionright; just).” There is another word

which is usually translated “right,” viz. εὐθύς euthus - straightforward.

But the word here used is “just.” Obedience to parents is simply a piece of

bare justice. For, CONSIDER HOW MUCH WE OWE THEM!   When

we first came into being their care and watchfulness guarded and supplied us

long ere we knew aught. They thought us, perhaps, something wonderful,

when no one else thought anything of the kind, save in the reverse sense.

Ought not all this to be repaid?


Ø      It is well-pleasing to the Lord. He has in this “set us an example, that we

should follow his steps.”  (I Peter 2:21)  Christ, referring to the Father,

said, “I do always those things that please Him.”  (John 8:29)


Ø      There is a specific promise made to the obedient and loyal, as such,

“That it may go well with thee, ” (here) and mayest live long on

 The earth.” (Ephesians 6:3); “which the Lord thy God giveth

thee!”  (here)  - In the culture of home obedience will be found a

strong safeguard of character. Vicious excesses will not

exhaust. Insubordination and recklessness will not blight life’s

prospects.  Hence such a life, being the PUREST and



Ø      Such home virtue is a contribution of no mean value to the stability

of a state. (I mentioned earlier Tim Tebow.  Well,  a while ago,

Congressman Allen West of Florida used Tim as an example for

leadership in the White House and halls of Congress as a character

model – I say this in reference to stability in a state – CY – 2012)

The reference of Moses is to the weal of the nation as well as to that

of the home. The downfall of Israel’s glory is attributed to two evils:


o       neglect of Sabbaths, (II Chronicles 36:14-21) and

o       making light of father and mother. NO NATION CAN


wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that

forget God.” (Psalm 9:17)


Ø      Such virtue brings great joy. “A wise son maketh a glad father.”


This is the beauty with which God’s blessing makes the plants of

virtue to bloom. It is like the fragrance exhaling from a bed of violets

quietly blossoming in a shady lane.


Ø      The neglect of this will ensure many unavailing regrets on both

sides in later life. “A foolish son is the heaviness of his mother”

(Proverbs 10:1).  Many an undutiful son, when laying his parents’

remains in the grave, would give all he has if he could but call them

back, if he could atone for his sin, or could cancel the past.

(The Fields Have Turned Brown is a very instructive song – CY –


and will forgive the sin, when repented of, but the penitent will never

forgive himself; he will often moan out, “Thou makest me to possess

the iniquities of my youth!”  (Job 13:26)


Ø      The curse of God will rest on those who are loose and disloyal at home.

Richard Knill so regarded this fifth commandment, that he would not

even go out as a missionary without his mother’s consent. He said,

I know that God never smiles on a boy that breaks his mothers heart.”

(See Proverbs 30:17.) And who does not know how often it is proved

true,“With what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again”?

(Matthew 7:2)  Jacob deceived his father, and his sons deceived him.

Can any observant man reach middle life without having had oft to

make such notes as these:  Sam honored his parents, and honor has

attended him. Bill dishonored his parents, and his lamp has gone

out in darkness? (Proverbs 20:20)  Though the judgment has

not yet come, yet there is a judging process of God’s providence

continually at work.


Ø      The observance of this rule is the best possible preparation for serving

our generation according to the will of God. (Notice:  “David, after

he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep”

- Acts 13:26 – May you and I do likewise!  - CY - 2012)  He who is

a blessing in the home will never be a curse out of it! The habits of

 self-restraint, of courtesy, of respect to superiors, well learnt and

practiced at home, will not be thrown off when outside its walls.

Men learn to command well by first obeying well. Even Christ’s

own preparation for active service was found in filial obedience at

home; and He is not only our perfect example, who shows us what

to do, He is also our omnipotent Savior, who will give

us strength to do it. Be it ours to repent not only of sin in general,

but of the sin of disobedience to parents. Let us ask His forgiveness

as well as theirs, if the latter is yet possible. Let us implore His

renewing grace that we may henceforth keep this and every

command, not only because it is written in the Book, but because

the love of it is graven on our hearts. It will be no small addition

to the joy of retrospect, if, as we afterwards look back on our home

life, we can think of it as one of FILIAL LOYALTY ON THE






                                    Honor to Parents (v. 16)


We prefer the arrangement which regards the fifth commandment as the

last of the first table — honor to parents being viewed as honor to God in

his human representatives.



REPRESENTATIVES OF THE DIVINE. They represent God as the

source of their offspring’s life; they have a share of God’s authority, and

ought to exercise it; but much more ought they to represent God to their

children in his unwearied beneficence, his tender care, his exalted rectitude,

his forgiving love. With what intelligence or comfort can a child be taught

to think of a Father in heaven, if its earthly parent is wanting in dignity,

kindness, truthfulness, or integrity? How many fathers are thus spoiling for

their children their whole conceptions of God! And with what anxiety and

care should earthly parents study to leave such an impression on their

children’s minds as will make the idea of God delightful and consolatory to

them, while inspiring them towards Him with proper feelings of reverence!



THEIR CHILDREN. They are to be regarded with affection, treated with

respect and deference, promptly and cheerfully obeyed, and, where needful,

liberally supported (Matthew 15:4-7; I Timothy 5:8). Even the

failure of parents to do all their duty to their children does not exonerate

the children from the obligation of treating them with respect. Young

people need to be reminded that failure in this duty is peculiarly offensive

to God. We are told that when Tiyo Soga visited this country, a particular

thing which astonished him was the deficiency in respect for parents

compared with the obedience which prevailed in the wilds of Kaffraria.



PECULIAR PROMISE. Length of days and prosperity. The promise is

primarily national, but it has fulfillments in individuals.


Ø      A special blessing rests on the man who shows his parents due respect.

That has often been remarked.


Ø      There is also a natural connection between the virtue and the promise.

Respect for parents is the root at once of reverence for God and of respect

for the rights of others. Hence the place of the commandment in the

Decalogue. It engenders self-respect, and forms the will to habits of

obedience. It is favorable to the stability, good order, and general morals of

society. It therefore conduces to health, longevity, and a diffusion of the

comforts of life, furnishing alike the outward and the inward conditions

                   necessary for success.






In the enactments of the second table there is a progression from THE



  • First, sins of deed are prohibited, such as murder, adultery, and theft;
  • then sins of word, such as injury of a neighbor’s good name by false

testimony; and

  • finally, sins of the heart, which do not come into open manifestation,

such as covetousness and evil desire. (It is wonderful that God knows

us so well that He understandeth my thought afar off.” (Psalm 139:2).


The “commandment” is thus seen to be “exceeding broad” (Psalm 119:96).

So that only the man “who hath clean hands and a pure heart, and who

hath not lifted up his soul to vanity, nor sworn deceitfully,” shall “ascend

into the hill of the Lord, or stand in his holy place” (Ibid. 24:3-4).



The Sixth Commandment (v. 17)



17 “Thou shalt not kill.” 



The Religion of the Temper (v. 17)


If a preacher were to announce this as a text in one of our Christian congregations,

some of his hearers might be disposed to say, “Such a text might be appropriate

enough if the preacher were expounding the Word of God to Zulus, but for us

civilized, not to say Christianized, people, it is out of place!” (Today that

would be a fallacy because of the multitudinous babies that are being and

have been killed by abortion over the last half century [47 years] – CY –

2020)  Obviously such a remark would be based on an acknowledged

fact, that murder is one of those sins against God which are also a crime

against human law, and that no one in a congregation of ordinary character

would be likely to dream of committing it. That is so. But we are apt to

forget that even among Christian congregations it was not always so.

When Peter is writing to believers, he deems it needful to say, “Let none of

you suffer as a murderer,” etc. (I Peter 4:15).  And even now, in heathen lands,

in many an audience of men just reclaimed from barbarism, it might be

necessary for a missionary to preach from this text, adhering to it simply in the

negative form, “Thou shalt not kill.” In endeavoring now to “open it up” for

pulpit use, we would recall to the reader some elementary principles concerning

the law already named.


o       That the Law was first given in infantine form. God laid down precepts

rather than assigned reasons.


o       That the form in which the Divine Being could put the most effective

guard around human life was by a stern and strong prohibition like this,

proclaimed amid thunder and lightning, terror and flame.  (Exodus 19:16-18)


o       That though the form of the precept is negative, yet it has a positive

significance, of such depth and breadth that, even though we may shrink

with horror from transgressing the former, it is by no means an elementary

stage of Christian character which any one has reached if he attains to the

latter. So far were the Jewish rabbis from catching the spirit of this

command, that they dealt with it as if the negative prohibitions of the act

of murder were the whole of its meaning. Our Lord, in His Sermon on the

Mount, shows us how much deeper than this the precept goes (see

Matthew 5:21-26). And the Apostle Paul, in Romans 13:9-10,

indicates what positive virtue must be cultivated, the maintenance of which

will make it impossible to transgress the sixth commandment. If we include

in our Homily a notice of these later teachings, it may appear that, even

with all our advances, there is something here for us to study, some holy

practice for us yet to strive after, urged upon us by weighty reasons, which,

though not presented in the world’s childhood, are set in full force in

THESE LAST DAYS!  Let us, then:





Ø      It forbids the taking of human life from passionate vindictiveness. The

Hebrews had, as we have, two verbs with the distinctive meanings of “to

kill” and “to murder.” We see in the quotation in Matthew 19:18, and

from the reference in Ibid. 5:21, that the Savior regards the

command as a prohibition of passionate lawlessness. But even had we

not that light from Christ’s teaching, the legislation of Moses himself

would shut us up to the same conclusion. For in the administration of

justice and in necessary war, the taking of life was commanded (see

Numbers 15:35; 35:31; Exodus 21:12-14). So that, unless we regard the

lawgiver as setting enactment against enactment, there is in this

commandment a prohibition of passionate outbreaks, but neither of

capital punishment nor necessary war.


Ø      It forbids any carelessness by which the life or zeal of our neighbor

would be risked (Exodus 21:28-29). Wherever human life is risked by

insufficient precaution, there is a breach of the sixth commandment.


Ø      It forbids that anger which takes the form of a revengeful spirit. So

Christ teaches. This precept strikes at the thoughts and intents of the

heart.  Every time a schoolboy angrily lifts a hand to hurt his classmate,

he is breaking in spirit this commandment.


Ø      It forbids that indifference in our life to the power of example which

would put a stumbling-block or an occasion to fall in a brother’s way

(Romans 14:15). If by careless living we “destroy” him for whom

Christ died,” we are breakers of this law.


Ø      It forbids dislike and hatred to our brother, and also a selfish isolation

and neglect of him (I John 2:9-11; 3:14-15). If we are merely pursuing

our own ends in life, and are not caring whether our brother is saved or

lost, this law condemns us. If we even refrain from helping our brother in

difficulty or trial, we are guilty (Proverbs 24:11-12; Isaiah 58:6-7).

We may “kill” by withholding the help which might save!


Ø      It requires, therefore, the cultivation of that kindly spirit of genial

benevolence, which would seek in every way to PROMOTE THE


and of men at large. (I repeat, a conscientious effort to negate the

influence of the Ten Commandments in society, a la, American

Civil Liberties Union’s goals, is unconstitutional because their


- CY – 2012)  Negative in form, the sixth commandment is positive

in intent. “Thou shalt not kill” is but the elementary form in which

God asserts the great law of mutual dependence and interdependence.

“Love worketh no ill to his neighbor.  Therefore love is the fulfilling

of the Law.” (Romans 13:10)  Would we keep the commandment,

“Thou shalt not kill”? Let us read it in the New Testament

light, “Thou shalt help thy neighbor.” “He that loveth another hath

fulfilled the Law.”  (Ibid.)





Ø      The preciousness of man in God’s sight. He who killed a beast had to

make it good; but no satisfaction might be taken for the life of a

murderer (see Genesis 9:6).


Ø      The spiritual nature of man.


Ø      The high and holy destiny designed for man forbids any tampering on

our part with him or with it.



SPRING OF ACTION DISCLOSED. This should actuate us in

refraining from violating, and in seeking to fulfill, the law of love.


Ø      The INCARNATION OF THE SON OF GOD is so touching

a revelation of the greatness of man, and does of itself so

elevate him, that no one realizing it can trifle with man.


Ø      The ATONING SACRIFICE gives new views of man. After

the Apostle Paul has been referring to the death of Christ, he says,

Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh.” CHRIST’S

DEATH FOR EVERY MAN  has shown us a halo of glory around

every man. We look at him no more according to the accidents of

birth, position, color, clime; we judge all men thus: CHRIST DIED

FOR THEM!  Oh! it is this cross which teaches us that reverence

for human nature, which else we had lost altogether.


Ø      The incarnation and the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God not only

give us the moving spring whereby to rise to a proper view of the

greatness of man (see Psalm 8:1-9), but also the supreme reason for

devoted love to him, for Christ’s sake (I John 4:11, 20; see

Ephesians 4:31; 5:1-2). With what immeasurable strength does the

gospel bind us to fulfill “the royal law,” “Thou shalt love thy

 neighbor as thyself!” (James 2:8)





have us lifted up by His love to so high a level, that we shall learn to love

like Him, even with a love”


§         of good will,

§         of compassion,

§         of forgiveness,

§         of actual service,

§         of self denying sympathy and devotion.


This is the love which “is born of God” (I John 4:7).  This is the Divine

philosophy of obedience to law. Learn, in conclusion:


Ø      It is to revelation alone that we owe the clearest view of human

dignity.  It is not from philosophy, nor from natural science that

we learn to appreciate man. Whatever science may have to say as

to his physical organism (and what it can say must depend on its

own appropriate evidence), it is THE IMAGE OF GOD which

he bears, that is HIS TRUE DIGNITY and around it is THE



Ø      From Gods revelation to man we learn respect for man as man.

Human life is held very cheaply in lands where the gospel is

unknown, and even in lands where it is known by men who reject it.

There are some, indeed, who reject gospel light, yet borrow gospel

morality, and call it theirs, while others who treat it as “a strange thing”

are already darkly suggesting a “morality” gross as that of pagan days.


Ø      From GOD’S REVELATION  we gather the only guarantee for

Human security and peace. IT IS BY THE CROSS AND THE

CROSS ALONE  that the unity of man in a world wide brotherhood

of love will ever be secured.


Ø      It is only by the new life bestowed by the Spirit of God that we

come to possess and practice this love to which the cross constrains.

We may all of us have refrained from an open breach of the letter of the

Sixth commandment. Not one of us can stand its searching test in the light

of God’s pure Word! “O wretched man that I am!  Who shall

deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through

Jesus Christ our Lord!”  (Romans 7:24-25a)  Ah! “this commandment

 fit for Zulus?” There is not a man amongst us who in the presence of its

all-searching light, is not utterly condemned! (James 2:10.) “Lord, have

mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law!”



In the next six verses we have an expanded citation of Exodus 20:14-18, addressed by

Moses to prepare the way for the solemn admonition to observe and do all that the Lord

had commanded them, with which he passes on to the enunciation of the various statutes

and ordinances he had been enjoined by God to lay upon them.



                                    The Seventh Commandment



18 “Neither shalt thou commit adultery.” 



                                    The Religion of the Body (v. 18)


In the second part of the Decalogue there are stern prohibitions against sin, without any positive indication of the opposite virtue.  Nor is there a hint of how to attain such a

life as shall make an offense against the commandments impossible, so that unless we recognize the educatory purpose of the Law, (a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ – Galatians 3:24 – CY – 2012) we shall at once underrate it and yet overrate it. We shall underrate it if we forget that it was just what was wanted, and all that could be serviceable at the time of its promulgation; we shall overrate it if we think that the mere prohibitory letter of this precept expresses the whole will of God in the matter to which it refers. We will, therefore, set side by side therewith, New Testament teachings. First, let us look at Matthew 5:27-29. Just as in referring to rabbinical teaching on the sixth commandment, Jesus Christ tells us that it is not only the open act of murder which is forbidden, but even the spirit of anger and revenge which might lead to it; so here, it is not merely the open act of physical degradation which is forbidden, but even the

spirit of unhallowed passion which, if unbridled, might lead to it. Nor must we

stop here. The New Testament opens up to us the  Divine will in the positive

direction (I Thessalonians 4:3-5).  We are told also what is the  true secret of

attaining a life which conforms to that will (Galatians 5:16). If we cultivate the

life of God in the spirit, the lower life will be in due subjection. (God meant

for the spirit to rule the flesh.  Paul says, “To be carnally minded is death, but

to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”  (Romans 8:6) Reasons, moreover, which

were not given in Israel’s childhood are given now (1 Corinthians 6:18-20); while the

issues of a life in which these are lost sight of, are put before us in dread array

(I Corinthians 9:27). Hence a homiletic treatment of this seventh commandment can

only be effective as it deals with it as but one branch of a subject, wide, deep, and

high, viz.” THE RELIGION OF THE BODY!  Observe:



We regard man’s nature as triple — body, soul, and spirit. As an acute and

learned divine remarks, The body is the link between the soul and the

world, the soul is the link between the body and the spirit; the spirit is

the link between the soul and God.” It is in reference to our spirit-nature

that we are made in the image of God. He is “the Father of spirits”

(Hebrews 12:9).  The same Book which reveals God to us, reveals us to

ourselves. Any one who understands the structure of his own nature, will

perceive which part thereof was meant to rule the rest. THE BODY




the stamp of true dignity has been most CLEARLY IMPRESSED

UPON MAN! . The Apostle Paul tells us that it was through the cross that

he learned truly to estimate human nature (II Corinthians 5:16). And elsewhere

he argues, “Ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your

 body” (I Corinthians 6:19).  Christ is “the Savior of the body

(Ephesians 5:23).  If we are the Lord’s, our body is the temple of the

Holy Ghost. No part of the body is base UNLESS BASELY USED!

 All its functions are to be discharged “in sanctification and honor.”

(I Thessalonians 4:4)





MARRIED STATE, This seventh command is far broader in spirit than the

mere letter would indicate. It condemns all impurity of every kind, IT


HIGHER,  and, like the preceding commands, though negative in form,

it is positive in substance. It bids us:


Ø      Let our own nature be duly honored, and self-respect be diligently



Ø      Observe towards others that self-same respect which we owe to

ourselves, on the same ground, and for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake.

The art of bridling the whole body” (James 3:2) is one of the

most important in a life of godliness.




Marriage is God’s holy ordinance. It is not a sacrament, in the same sense

in which Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are. Neither is it merely a civil

contract, (this written two hundred years before the modern desecration

by same sex marriages – since God judges “whoremongers and

adulterers” [Hebrews 13:4] – homosexuals need not think they are exempt –

CY – 2012) as is sometimes shockingly said. It is a union of two in the closest

ties of nature, based on an affinity of spirit which leads each to see in the other

what each most admires. It is a union of spirit in the Lord (if it be all that it should

be); each one of the two ceases to live in and for himself or herself, (“the one

of the twain” wouldn’t it be something of each of our marriages “if two

were ever one, then we!” – CY – 2012)” and begins practically to unlearn

selfishness by living for the other, and thus the reciprocal outgoing of affection

is a formative action of spirit, AND TENDS TO BE THE NOBLEST

CULTURE OF LIFE!   And where the Divine idea of marriage is carried

out, the purely natural side of it will be by no means the only one or even the

highest.  God chose to remove a bone from Adam’s side versus from his head

or his feet to create the woman. Matthew Henry states, “That the woman was

made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule

over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his

side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his

 heart to be beloved.”  There are spheres of duty which are most

appropriately filled by men, e.g. those in professional and commercial life;

there are other spheres which are most appropriately filled by women, e.g.

those in the quiet of the home. And the work of one is the supplement

and complement of the work of the other. Hence each one looks to the

other for the discharge of special service. Thus there is a mutual leaning on

one another.  And if the crowning joy of married life be present in both

being one in the Lord, in their spiritual fellowship they fan each other’s love

to Him who died for them. Each will supply what the other lacks. Perhaps

the strength of the man may lie chiefly in intellectual power. (I wonder what

the National Organization of Women would think of this?  They can’t say

they haven’t been warned since Paul made it plain in I Corinthians 11:10

where he seems to compare a woman’s usurpation of the place of man

equated with the fallen angels trying to overthrow God! – CY – 2012)  That

of the woman will lie in tenderness, (nowadays many of us are confused

by the modern women’s expression of anger, kinda like she is not happy

of who she is.  When I used to teach school, it was amazing how many

students were satisfied with race, sex and who they were – much honor

belongs to God for His creativity and success in this matter  

CY – 2012) and also in far keener and surer perceptions and more swiftly

acting intuitions. Thus, through one being the fitting complement of the

other, they become mutual helpers in all that is right and wise and true;

and as even before they were made one, each one knew how to possess his

vessel in sanctification and honor (I Thessalonians 4:4), so, when they are one,

each honors the other, by making the sacred union subservient to virtue

and to HONOR OF GOD! Thus rolling years do but deepen the fondness

and sweetness of their love, and if it becomes calmer and less demonstrative,

it is because it has become fuller, richer, and stronger. When youthful

ardor dies down, the holy tie is holier than ever; their very souls become knit

together in one.  The care of one is the care of both; the joy of one is the joy

of both; (to miss this is to miss one of the SUPREME BLESSINGS IN

 LIFE – CY – 2012) and any unkindness that stings one wounds both, As

two trees side by side in a grove, their arms interlace and interlock, yet each

has its separate root, So husband and wife, as trees of the Lord’s own right

hand planting, do through the whole of this earthly life become interlocked

with growing firmness, while their one Savior, Jesus Christ, in whom they

live is the common joy of their spirits, THEIR ONE HOPE FOR

ETERNITY!  That there are innumerable cases in which a noble type

of Christian excellence is reached by the unmarried, we all know. While

marriage opens up those claims in the discharge of which the most

symmetrical character is usually formed, yet Divine grace can so sway the

spirit as to culture it nobly for eternity, irrespectively of these sacred ties. There

are fathers and mothers in Israel who are so by spiritual relationship. Thus,

when our nature is duly honored in ourselves and others, by its uppermost part

being kept uppermost, out of loyalty to Christ, it is possible for both the

married and unmarried to glorify God in their body as well as in their






WILL BE NEEDED NO MORE. We shall have risen to a sphere in which

the transgression of the seventh commandment will be impossible (see I John 3:9;

Galatians 5:16, 24). The sure guarantee of our keeping this law, in the spirit as

well as in the letter, is for us to be so re-created by Gods Spirit, that it shall be

impossible for us to break it.



THE LAW. If there are those who are not in the region of a higher life, as

indicated above, they should be reminded that this law, in its wide sweep

and searching depth, condemns all impurity of every kind; it discerns “the

thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).  Hence the words

in Matthew 5:28; hence the warnings in Mark 9:43, 45, 47. One indulged

sin will drag the whole man after it.  It is evident that the Lord avenges

the sins of the flesh. It tells us that men must possess in manhood the sins

of their youth; that if they sow to the flesh, they will of the flesh reap

 corruption; that the punishment of sensuality, working not by special

 interventions, but by general laws, bears a fearful resemblance to the

 sin itself; that the Nemesis of a desecrated body is an enfeebled

 understanding, a tormented and darkened soul;” (compare Romans

1:26-27; Proverbs 5:1-11)  and it may be added,  a face from which the

 luster of the Divine has departed, and in which the lines of a true

manhood are manifestly vitiated and defaced, and even exchanged for

 lines of sin and of shameless vice. Let all take heed and remember:


Ø      That where each one’s weak point is, a sentinel should be kept

            on watch.

Ø      We are not safe till the very thoughts are under control.

Ø      Only the Spirit of God can give us power equal to this.

Ø      Unless we keep ourselves in subjection we shall be cast away.




      The Eighth Commandment



19 “Neither shalt thou steal.”



  The Religion of the Hand (v. 19)


There is much to be said in favor of the proposition  that utility is the foundation of virtue; and provided that the sentence be well cleared up and guarded from abuse, and provided also that the word “utility” be lifted up to its highest, and spread over its broadest significance, the maxim is less objectionable than it would otherwise appear. While it, however, has been and will be discussed in the philosopher’s classroom, for ages, we may safely go so far as to say, “That is right which renders the highest

service to mankind, and by its having this tendency, we know it to be right.” Now,

among serviceable institutions is that of property, which, as men are

constituted, is a necessity of social weal. If rightness consists in

recognizing the rights of each, the necessity of property comes out of the

equality of natural rights. If a man is alone in the world, he may call it all

his own. If there is a brother man with him, they must divide it between

them. Apart from the institution of property, one incentive to labor would

be gone. Who would be likely to toil day by day for that from which he

would obtain naught when the work was over? (Does this statement

not describe the effects of socialistic trends today in America?  - CY – 2012)

Now, it is the social law of the institution of property, Divine yet natural, yea,

natural because Divine, the existence of which is here assumed, and the recognition

of which is here enjoined: in the barest and most elementary form, it is true, yet in the

very form best according with the circumstances under which it was given; in a negative

form, too, like the other commands, but yet with a positive intent. Perhaps there is no

one of the commandments which is more extensively commented on, and repeated in

so many forms in the Old Testament, nor one the violation of which is so variously

prohibited. Our simplest mode of treating it homiletically seems to be to point out in

turn the negative prohibition, and the positive duty which is to be set over against it.




PRECEPT IS THROWN IN SCRIPTURE. If we regard the spirit of it,

and read it by the light of Old Testament teaching, we shall find it set in

great variety of ways.


Ø      It forbids our depriving any man of any right whatever

(Lamentations 3:35-36).


Ø      It is forbidden to gain an undue advantage at another’s expense

(Exodus 23:3, 6, 8-9; Leviticus 19:15; Deuteronomy 16:19-20).


Ø      It is forbidden to accumulate wealth by unlawful practices

(Proverbs 10:2; 15:6).


Ø      It is forbidden to take long credit (Proverbs 3:28; Leviticus



Ø      It is forbidden to oppress a poor man in his cause (Exodus 22:26-

27; Deuteronomy 15:7, 10-15; Proverbs 22:22-23; Micah

2:1-3; 3:1-4).


Ø      It is forbidden to pay insufficient wages (Deuteronomy 24:14-15;



Ø      To lend money in any oppressive or exacting form (Exodus 22:25;

Leviticus 25:35-38; Deuteronomy 23:19). “The name ‘usurer

neshecwhich is derived from biting, sounded badly, since no

 one chose to be likened to a hungry dog, who fed himself by

biting others” (Calvin).


Ø      To take advantage of the stranger, the widow, and the fatherless

(Exodus 22:21-24; Deuteronomy 10:17-19; Leviticus 19:33-34).


Ø      Unfair trading (Leviticus 19:35-36; Deuteronomy 25:13-16;

Proverbs 11:1; 16:11; 20:10, 23; Micah 6:10-12).


Ø      Imperiling another’s property (Exodus 21:33-36).


Ø      Life-long slavery (Exodus 21:2; Deuteronomy 15:12-18).


Ø      Connivance at wrong (Proverbs 29:24).


Ø      Respect of persons (Exodus 23:1-3).


Ø      Revengeful mischief even in war-time (Deuteronomy 20:19-20).


Ø      Removing a neighbors landmark (Ibid. ch.19:14).


Ø      Withholding from the service of God (Malachi 3:8-9). Whenever

we withhold what is due to God, or keep back what we owe to man,

if the master is unjust to his servant, or the servant wastes the time or the

goods of his master; if a man is guilty of trickery in trade, by adulteration

of goods, or scant weight, or short measure; if a man is in any way

deprived of his own right or freedom; if we take undue advantage of

any one for our own benefit, we are guilty of breaking the command





teaching of Moses there was not wanting an indication of an opposite duty,

the cultivation of which would make a breach of the eighth commandment

altogether out of the question. The people were to aim at cherishing a

kindly feeling for each other, and instead of wishing to enrich

themselves at anothers expense, they were to seek to enrich others,

and to find their joy in helping the needy (Exodus 23:4; Leviticus 25:35;

Deuteronomy 15:7-10; 22:1-3; 23:19; 24:19). While in Proverbs, the

contrast between sloth and industry is said to be one mark of difference

between the righteous and the wicked.



EXPLICIT. (See Acts 20:35; I Corinthians 10:24; Philippians 2:4-5; and

specially Ephesians 4:28.) The words of our blessed Lord lingered in the

apostles’ ears as the strains of a lovely song. His life too seemed to say,

“Be ever ready to give up what is your own, if thereby you can help another.”

So that not only is there to be such respect for the rights of others, that we

do not infringe on them by abstracting from his property;

but over and above the institution of property, which is recognized and




that it was God who ordained man to work - Genesis 3:19 – CY – 2012)

 So that we come at this specific rule: Labor, and sanctify your labor for

 others; then you will be in no danger of depriving them of the fruits

of their labor! The political economist says, “Regulate labor so as best to

subserve the production of wealth.” So far, good. But Christian maxims go

higher, and say, “Pursue and regulate labor with a view of promoting each

other’s well-being.” Now, in this sanctification of labor there are four rules

to be observed:


Ø      Labor as servants of Christ. This is a specific direction both for

employer and employed. Both are amenable to Him who is the

Head and Lord of the human race. In His eye the interests of

the human family are the supreme concern on this globe. Material

wealth is to Him as nothing. Men are His purchased possession;

and if by labor we increased the material wealth of this country a

thousand-fold, if thereby one soul were destroyed, his curse

would rest upon such labor.


Ø      Labor with an eye to the glory of God: not only as His servants, but

so that all our labor may promote THAT GREAT END  for which

HE LIVED AND DIED;  and just in proportion as this is the case,

will Christ approve our toil.


Ø      Labor in accordance with and for the promotion of anothers good.

We are to let all our labors be in harmony with another’s well-being. We

may not make ourselves rich at the expense of others; but only as our

weal accords with theirs. This applies NATIONALLY as well as

INDIVIDUALLY.   It is as clearly wrong for a nation to steal a continent

as for a man to steal a dollar! And if we so labor as to ignore the good of

another, we shall find that “there is a God that judgeth in the earth!”

(Psalm 58:11)


Ø      But it is not enough that there should be an absence of spoliation or

greed, nor that labor should merely accord with human good; it is

required of us that one direct object and aim of our labor should

 be the increase of our wealth that we may have the wherewith

 to give to others!  As between man and man, the great God upholds

our right to the produce of our labor. As between ourselves and Him,

He says, Use for your brother’s good, the wealth you get. You

are but a steward. Nothing is yours absolutely. What hast thou that

thou hast not received?”  (I Corinthians 4:7) - Work, that you may get.

Get, that you may have to give. “The poor shall never cease out of

 the land” (ch. 15:11).  If, by any sudden spurt, wealth could be

equalized today, IT WOULD BE UNEQUAL IN 24 HOURS and

in twelve months scarcely a trace would be left of the readjustment.

(Apparently, this is something that the President of the United States

and many in Congress cannot fathom. For all the reputation that

many leaders have, they can’t be too smart or else are deliberately

leading us down the wrong road.  This is a distinct possibility since

one of the major penalties for “forsaking God in America  is

the dumbing down of the quality of leadership. CY – 2012)  Some

would be workers and some idlers; some spendthrifts and some misers;

and any rectification of property, apart from the right-setting of men,

would be of no avail. (“The right setting of men” is GOD’S

BUSINESS!  - CY - 2012).  And, at any rate, so long as

There are claims upon our sympathy, so long our labor is to have this

Stamp upon it: Labor, to gain the power of giving; THIS IS THE


EIGHTH COMMANDMENT.  Whoever fulfils his labor in a spirit

of loyalty to Christ and of kindliness to his brother, will find in labor so

discharged, a holy and blessed discipline of character. Shall we

live under the low, selfish calculations of earth, or under the higher

regulations of heaven? There is a wealth — a wealth most to be

coveted — which’ comes not as a heritage of birth, but as the reward

of giving to others according as they have need. Acting on worldly

maxims, a man might live for a thousand years and he will never have it.

Acting on Christ’s rule, he will reap it as sheaves of golden grain. It is

this: “The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me:

 and I caused the  widow’s heart to sing for joy!” (Job 29:13)




                                    The Ninth Commandment



20 “Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbor.” 



     The Religion of the Tongue (v. 20)


This command gives us a precept touching our words. Inasmuch, however, as it is here given to us in barest, briefest, most elementary form, it would not be well if in the homiletic treatment of it we did not place side by side therewith the varied Scriptures which set before us THE DUTY OF REGULATING OUR SPEECH!   We will ask,

and endeavor to answer, five questions concerning this commandment.


  • WHAT IS HERE PROHIBITED? Just as the sixth commandment

throws a guard around human life, the seventh around purity, the eighth

around the rights of property and labor, so this ninth throws a shield over

EVERY MAN’S REPUTATION.   (I once heard that “it takes a life-

time to gain a reputation BUT ONLY A MOMENT TO LOSE IT!

CY – 2012)   A stern “Thou shalt not injure thy neighbor’s fair

name” is one of the mandates of Sinai, issued amidst thunder and fire!

(Exodus 19:16-18)  The immediate reference would seem to be to bearing

testimony in a court of justice. A part of the judicial code of Moses had

reference to this (Deuteronomy 19:16-19). But the precept goes further

than this in its spirit. We read in Exodus 23:1, “Thou shalt not raise (or receive)

a false report;” literally, Thou shalt not bear it;”  i.e. you are to have nothing

to do, either in making or taking it. Further (Leviticus 19:16), we are

not to give way to gossip and scandal (see Psalm 15:3). Nor are we to

make any statement that is prejudicial to the interests of another, unless we

are sure of its accuracy, and unless also the good of society requires us to

make it. Further (Psalm 34:13), our lips are to speak no deceit nor guile

of any kind, either in what is said or in the manner of saying it. (Of Jesus,

our example, it is said “who did no sin, neither was guile found in

His mouth” – I Peter 2:22 – CY – 2012)  If we needlessly tell of

another’s wrong act, instead of seeking to cover it, under the appearance

of virtue in denouncing it, God may see a spirit of malice or revenge in

naming it; and any act of another’s mentioned in such a spirit is

sure not to be construed by us in perfect fairness, and therefore it will

certainly become, so far as it is unfair, a false report, whatever foundation

of fact there may be in it. The precept, moreover, forbids sitting in

judgment on individuals, so as to denounce them when we are contending

against what we consider to be unsound in their faith, or wrong in their

practice. But further still does the precept reach. It forbids any thoughtless

word which might unwillingly injure another (see Matthew 12:33-37).

How true is Hebrews 4:12! Every uncharitable thought of another,

which might prompt an uncharitable word respecting him, is condemned by

the holy Law of God!



only to look at gospel law, as brought out by the Apostle Paul in

Ephesians 4:25-32, to see this.


Ø      Truth is ever to mark our speech. The true in thought is to

be aimed at, in order that there may be truth, absolute truth, on

the tongue. No “pious frauds” are allowable.  God is

“abundant in truth”.  (Exodus 34:6)


Ø      Love is to rule. While a supreme regard to truth will guard us from

violating it consciously, a due cultivation of the spirit of love will

guard us from forming those harsh judgments of others which

 might lead us to violate truth unconsciously by misjudging

 their actions.  (Having such a strong belief in the truth of God’s

words, I have had to tip-toe through this mine-field in my life.

Unfortunately, there have been a few explosions along the path

                        but God has helped minimize the damage.  CY – 2012)


Ø      Where truth and love reign, there will be self-restraint. A check

will be put on unkind feeling of every sort. “Love beareth all things,

believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

(I Corinthians 13:7)  Note further. In this ninth command the relations

between men are supposed to be reciprocal. “Thy neighbor.”

If any ask, Who is my neighbor? let Christ give the answer,”

You may make yourself neighbor to any man by cherishing a

 readiness of disposition to do him a kindness” (see Luke 10:29-37).

No distinction of race, color, or clime is to be allowed to stand

in the way of our being true neighbors to men, the wide world over.





Ø      Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” That, applied to this

command, would mean, “Be as careful of another’s reputation as

you are of your own.” There is another rule.


Ø      Be imitators of God. “Let all evil-speaking... be put away from

 you...and be kind to one another... even as God in Christ hath

 forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).  The world’s rule is: exalt yourself

at the expense of others. Christ’s rule is: exalt others at the sacrifice

of yourself.





Ø      The fact urged by Paul, that “we are members one of another.”

(Romans 12:5) - In social life we are dependent on each other for

the enjoyments which sweeten it, the luxuries which enrich it,

the comforts which gladden it, and for the necessaries which make it

possible; and, excepting so far as truth governs words and acts,

the very props of social life are wanting, and its cohesive

force is gone. If the eye refused to be true to the brain, or if the ear,

the hand, or the foot resolved to be at variance with the decisions of

the will, life would soon be intolerable, and must ere long come to an

end. Even so, we cannot tamper with the law of truth in speech

without doing our part towards poisoning the currents of

 thought, feeling, and action which flow through society,

and so far as we bear false witness of any kind with the view of

gaining advantage at another’s cost, we are aiding the infernal

work of setting men at variance with each other, by loosening

the bonds of mutual confidence which should unite them all!


Ø      If the tongue is duly bridled, the whole body will be under

 command. (James 3:2). Our WHOLE BEING is to IN


And that means that we are to guard our lips. If we are successful

here, that indicates so far a mastery over ourselves. We can bridle

the whole body if we can but curb the tongue. “Let every man

be swift to hear, slow to speak” (James 1:19).  A man may do

very much to make or mar himself according as he has learned the

right government of the tongue.


Ø      If the tongue is not bridled, we have no religion at all! (James 1:26).

Let us lay that word to heart. Whatever may be the outside profession,

if we do not govern our tongue for God, if we use it for gossip, trifling,

scandal, slander, our very profession of Christ’s name is a cheat and a lie.


Ø      The thought of THE COMING JUDGMENT should lead us to

govern our tongue (Matthew 12:37). One would think that such

words as these would make men more careful how they use the

tongue! Are we so governing our words that we should confront

without shame all those that we have ever spoken, when set in

array before us? (Remember that Jesus said, “therefore whatsoever

ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light, and

that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be

proclaimed upon the housetops.”  - (Luke 12:3)  - apparently,

God had the world bugged before man came on the scene –

This gives more meaning to the children’s song with the line,

‘be careful little tongue what you say - CY – 2012)  “We must

ALL stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” (Romans 14:10)

How will backbiters, slanderers, and retailers of gossip meet the eye

of the Great Judge of all?





Ø      Let us awake to the importance, as before God, of remembering His

perfect knowledge of our words (“For there is not a word in my

tongue, but lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.” Psalm 139:4).

Let us cultivate the impression such a thought is calculated

to produce.


Ø      Let us resolve and act (“I said, I will take heed to my ways,

That I sin not with my tongue:  I will keep my mouth with

a bridle, while the wicked is before me.” - Psalm 39:1). So said

David. Let such a resolution be formed and carried out.

(It is still early in the year, this being Jan. 12, 2012 – CY – 2012)


Ø      Much may be done by auxiliary means, in the way of lessening the

temptation to offend with the tongue. Very much of the habit of idle

gossip results from unintelligence. (same for cursing – it shows

greatly A LACK OF VOCABULARY  to express oneself – CY  -

2012).  Some have nothing to talk about, and for want of a well-

stored mind, they fall a-slandering their neighbors. Over and

above other means which are more directly religious of reducing the

evil of an unbridled tongue, there is this serviceable one: furnish the

mind with so much valuable knowledge, that you will be so

occupied with useful talk that you have no time for idle words.


Ø      Let there also be devout attention to the more spiritual aspects

of life.  Let the earnest prayer go up (“Set a watch, O Lord,

before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” - Psalm 141:3), and,

remembering the Savior’s words, “Out of the abundance of the

 heart the mouth speaketh(Matthew 12:34), let us earnestly

plead with God for daily renewal in the spirit of our mind,

since, when the heart is right, the words cannot be wrong.

Maybe some of us used to think concerning the Ten Commandments,

like the young ruler mentioned in Luke 18:18-25 who said  “All

 these have I kept from my youth up.” But, alas, so far from that,



not bear false witness against thy neighbor!” Under its severe

tests we have broken down thousands of times, and have abundant

reason to cry, “God be merciful to me the sinner!” (Luke 18:13).

MAY GOD THUS SANCTIFY US!   Lord, have mercy upon

us, and incline our hearts to keep this law.”  (Psalm 119:36)



The Tenth Commandment    


21 “Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbor’s wife, neither shalt thou

covet thy neighbor’s house, his field, or his manservant, or his

maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbor’s.”



                               The Religion of the Heart (v. 21)


This commandment is in some respects the most manifestly sweeping and

searching of all. It even more fully than the others illustrates Hebrews

4:12. If any reader has thought that in making such heart-work of the

preceding, we have gone beyond the scope of the Decalogue, this verse

should correct such an impression, for IT DEALS VERBALLY with the


RESTRAINT ON THEM.  We will first of all:



Recognizing the neighborly relation between man and man, and people and

people, and implying the duty of each individual and of each nation

cherishing a kindly feeling for another, it not only forbids the violation of

neighborliness by any outward act of unkindness and wrong, but even the

desire out of which such unneighborly acts might arise. “Thou shalt not

covet.” “As it was given,” said an earnest preacher, in the winter of 1870,

“in the first instance to a nation, it is natural to consider some of the ways

in which a nation may violate it, The history of the world is stained and

darkened by the crimes to which nations have been driven by the

 spirit of covetousness. A great and prosperous people cannot endure

that the cornfields and vineyards and the noble river which can be seen

from its frontiers should belong to a neighboring power. Sooner or later it is

almost certain that THIS NATIONAL COVETOUSNES  will end in a

war of aggression or conquest, Some pretext will be found for a quarrel,

 by some means or other there will be a justification discovered, or

created, or alleged, for seizing by force of arms what the heart of the

nation longed for” (R. W. Dale). (This is the way greedy and insatiate

bullies operate – CY – 2012)  But since the command forbids even the

covetous desire, the justification alleged may be as wicked as the war itself;

it may be but a cloak to hide from the undiscerning that covetousness which

not the thickest veil of night can hide from him whose eyes are as a flame of fire.

(This is true of the law of the streets as well as of nations – CY – 2012)

It is, however, chiefly with the application of this command to the

individual  that we have now to do. It forbids:


Ø      Desire after lower good to the neglect of the higher.

Ø      Desire after improper objects.

Ø      Desire after lawful objects carried to an improper degree.

Ø      Desire to gain any object in an improper manner.

Ø      Any desire after what belongs to another, which is inconsistent

with the rule, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,”

It forbids too:

Ø      Discontent with the allotments of Divine providence.

(Whether gender, race, body shapes, etc. – CY – 2012) A

Discontented spirit is but one form of covetousness,

albeit it is a very unamiable one. We are not to be envious of

another’s possessions, nor for a moment to allow the wish, if our

neighbor is rich and we are poor, that his wealth and our

poverty should change hands. On the other hand, there is to

be a thankful content with the mercies we possess, and

a joy in our neighbor’s joy if he has more than we have.

So far from wishing to gain advantage at another’s cost, we are

to rejoice in another’s good as really as if it were our own. So

runs the precept “Rejoice with them that rejoice and weep

(Romans 12:15). It is much easier to “weep with them

that weep,” than it is to “rejoice with them that do rejoice.”

(This is sad and is probably the result of envy, jealousy, malice,

Etc.  I have heard that “Envy shoots at others but wounds

Herself!” – CY – 2012)  When we do the former, we may have

the secret thankfulness that we are spared the sorrow of others;

but when the latter, our joy is apt to be checked by the

secret wish that we were possessors of their cause of joy.

Our obedience to this precept is not complete till we can

“weep” or “rejoice” with others with equal readiness. In a

word, the tenth commandment requires ENTIRE UNSELFISHNESS.


Galatians 5:14)



Sin is defined by the Apostle John as “the transgression of Law” (I John 3:4).

Consequently, wheresoever the Law reaches, there would the transgression of it

come under THAT TERM “SIN.”   Hence, by the Law is the knowledge of

sin. (Romans 3:20)  We find accordingly that Paul, one of the most noted

characters in New Testament history gained, not only from the Decalogue,

but from this particular precept, his first deep convictions of sin (see

Romans 7.). Making a like use of it, we see:


Ø      That this law reveals that to be sin which else would not have been

suspected as such. If we were asked by some to point out the marks

of sin in the world, they would refer us to war, oppression, tyranny,

etc, But God’s Word strikes at the lusts out of which these evils

come (James 4:1).


Ø      This law reveals to us how deeply sin has struck its roots in our nature,

that it has permeated and saturated our very thoughts, (even

early in man’s history – “And God saw that the wickedness of

man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of

the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” - Genesis 6:5)

and made them selfish.  We see too by the same light that many an

apparently good act before men has been rotten by reason of the

“lust” in which it had its root.


Ø      So that we also learn that a man may be altogether blameless in the

Sight of his fellows, and yet be condemned in the sight of God.

God judges acts by motives. Have all our motives been pure?


Ø      Thus we see that there is quite enough in heart sins to shut us out from

the kingdom of heaven.  (This is why you and I need Jesus and why

that he came into the world TO SAVE SUCH AS YOU AND I –

CY – 2012)


Ø      Thus, by this commandment, and a fortiori (for a stronger reason;






Thus the Law reveals a mischief which it is not its province to









v     Our Lord shows us by his teaching that our true wealth

consists in what we are rather than in what we have

(Luke 12:13-20).  “Take heed and beware of

covetousness:  for a man’s life consisteth not in the

abundance of the things which he possesseth.”


v     When men are penitent, God forgives the past.


v     He recreates the soul, and lifts us up by promises

to a higher level  (II Peter 1:3-4; Matthew 6:33; Luke 12:29;

Hebrews 13:5).


v     Nor is the element of holy warning wanting

(I Corinthians 10:1-6,12).


Ø      It shows us a sphere in which the natural ambition may have legitimate

play without degenerating into lust. For, it may be urged, “If we had no

desire after the improvement of our condition, we should do away with

enterprise? Ought not a young man to be anxious to rise in the world?”

Certainly. But not at the expense of others. In a right direction a

man not only may, but should, make the very utmost of himself for which

his power capacitates him (I Timothy 4:8; Proverbs 30:5-9). Another

may say, “I have the organ of acquisitiveness very strongly developed.

I am so made that I must get, so that if I am anxious to have more,

I am only acting out that which is imbedded in the structure of my

physical frame.”  Acquisitiveness! an excellent organ to have, and

one which makes it specially desirable to decide of what its

possessor shall be acquisitive, If it is a necessity of any one’s

nature to be ever getting, THE GREATER NEED THAT


Now, while God’s Law condemns acquisitiveness in the wrong



 EXERCISE! By all means let any one develop that noble capacity

(Proverbs 3:16; 4:5-7; I Corinthians 12:31). The surest way of

guarding against covetousness of ill will be so TO DEVELOP

EAGERNESS AFTER GOOD that the other cannot coexist

(I John 2:15). There is no faculty of our nature which can be

developed to finer issues than this desire of having, IF IT BE


SPIRIT OF GOD! No function of the soul is common

or unclean, unless we make it so. At creation, everything

which God made “was good!”  (Genesis 1:4,10,12,18,21 and

to the point of “it was very good” in v. 25)  Here is the right sort

of covetousness (Philippians 3:8), “That I may win Christ.”

Let all our power of coveting go out after HIM!   He will bring

with Him durable riches and righteousness. The wealth we have in

Him will be vastly more than aught we can have from Him, and by

“the expulsive power of a new affection” HE WILL WEAN






                                                The Decalogue (vs. 1-21)


Moses here recalls the Sinaitic covenant, and wishes the Israelites to

remember that, though given to their fathers primarily, it was also

applicable to them. They were in many cases present as children then, and

they were represented by their parents. Moses speaks with authority as

having been mediator (v. 5) on the occasion. There are the following lessons

to be learned from the Decalogue as here given:



      God gives His Law to His people after their deliverance rom Egyptian bondage.

It is intended to be a rule of life for those already redeemed. The gospel

precedes the Law — Moses the deliverer precedes Moses the lawgiver;

the Lord was first known as the fountain of freedom, and then as the fountain

of that Law within whose bounds freedom is to be realized.




Ø      The Laws relating to God. These embrace the four which come first, i.e.


o       the law against polytheism or atheism. This law is broken when we live “without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12), ascribing to luck, chance, or fortune what is due to God’s providence. It is broken when we worship self, or fame, or ambition.


o       The law against sensuous worship. For the second commandment is broken in so far as our worship is not “in spirit and in truth.”

      (John 4:24)


o       The law of reverence. Any spirit of undue familiarity which leads to the least trifling before God is a breach of this third commandment.


o       The law of consecrated time. This fourth commandment is an

acknowledgment that all time is God’s by right, and the seventh portion should be by special obligation. In Deuteronomy the Sabbath is based, not on creation, as in Exodus, but on the deliverance from Egypt. Each great providence increases our obligation thus TO

ACKNOWLEDGE GOD!   Hence the Lord’s day is made commemorative of our Lord’s resurrection.


Ø      The laws relating to man. These embrace the succeeding six, thus:


o       The law of the family. This is the first commandment with promise

(Ephesians 6:2).


o       The law of social love. For we are to avoid not only murder, but the

unholy anger of which it is the manifestation (Matthew 5:22).


o       The law of social purity. We must be pure in thought, as well as in act, as our Lord has shown us (Matthew 5:28; also Mark 7:21-23).


o       The law of honesty. This must be in God’s sight and in man’s

(II Corinthians 8:21).


o       The law of veracity. Restraining the turbulent tongue

(James 3:6, 9).


o       The law of contentment. The curbing of covetousness, which is idolatry (Colossians 3:5).




            The Divine Plan for the Conduct of Our Life on Earth (vs. 6-21)



Had we been left in ignorance what the Divine intention in human life was,

it had been a calamity indeed. Waste and failure must have been the

disastrous result. For every honest-minded man, ample direction from the

Supreme Source of authority is supplied. The most cogent argument is not

always the most convincing. God might here have prefaced His ten words

with a proper assertion of His indisputable sovereignty. But He prefers to

appeal to His recent interposition — His emancipation of the people from

Egyptian bondage. As if He had said, “I, who released you from grinding

misery — I, who created your liberty, and founded your nation, now

command your loyalty. Let the lives which I have ransomed be spent as I

now direct.”




Ø      That God must be supreme in our regard and affection. “Thou shalt

have none other gods before me.” This claim is founded in absolute right.

The Proprietor has complete dominion over the work of his hands. If his

workmanship does not please him, he is at liberty to destroy it. His claim is

further pressed on the ground of His transcendent excellence. Essential and

unapproachable goodness is He; hence His claims on worship rest upon His

intrinsic worth. And His claim to reverent regard proceeds likewise on

human benefit. God’s glory and man’s advantage are only different aspects

of the same eternal truth. To give Him all is to enrich ourselves.


Ø      That God must be supreme in our acts of worship. To picture Him forth

by material images is an impossibility. The plausible plea of human nature

has always been that material forms serve as aids to worship the Unseen.

But the facts of human experience have uniformly disproved this

hypothesis. It may cost us severe exertion of mind to lift our souls up to

the worship of the true God; yet this very exertion is an unspeakable

advantage. God has no pleasure in imposing on us hard tasks for their own

sake; yet, for the high gain to His servants, He does impose them.

Throughout the Scriptures, idolatry is represented as spiritual adultery;

hence, condescending to human modes of speech, the displeasure of God is

described as jealousy. Jealousy is quick-sighted, deep-seated, swift-footed.

All revelation of God is an accommodation to human ignorance and

feebleness. The visitation of punishment upon the children, and upon the

children’s children, is not to be construed as excessively severe, much less

as unrighteous. The thrice-holy God can never be unjust. The idolatrous

spirit would be entailed to children by natural law; hence punishment

would culminate in final disaster. The menace was gracious, because, if

parents will not abstain from sin for their own sakes, they sometimes will

for the sake of their children. The mercy shall be far more ample than the

wrath. The anger may be entailed on a few, and that in proportion always

to the sin; the mercy shall flow, like a mighty river, to “thousands.”

(Exodus 3:7)  True worship fosters love, and stimulates practical obedience.


Ø      Gods authority is supreme over our speech. The faculty of speech is a

noble endowment, and differentiates man from the inferior races. The

tongue is a mighty instrument, either for evil or for good.


o        We take God’s Name in vain when we make an insincere or superficial

profession of attachment. We wear His Name lightly and frivolously if our

service is formal and nominal.


o        We take his Name in vain when we are unfaithful in the performance of

our vows. Men pledge themselves to be His in moments of peril, and forget

their pledges when safety comes.


o        We take God’s Name in vain when we use it to give force and emphasis

to a falsehood. Whether in private converse, or in a court of justice, we use

God’s Name to produce a stronger persuasion in others’ minds, we

contract fearful guilt if we use that sacred Name to bolster up a lie.


o        We take God’s Name in vain whenever we use it needlessly, flippantly,

or in jest. The moral effect upon men is pernicious, corrupting, deadly. The penalty is set forth in negative language, but it is intended to convey

deep impression. Others may hold it as a venial sin; not so God.


Ø      Gods authority over the employment of our time. All time belongs to

God. He hath created it. Every successive breath we inspire is by his

sustaining power. Since we are completely His, His claim must be

recognized through every passing minute. But just as He allows to men the

productions of the soil, but requires the first-fruits to be presented to Him —

the earnest of the whole; so also the first-fruits of our time He claims for

special acts of worship. One day in seven He requires to be thus

consecrated; but whether the first or the seventh depends wholly on the

mode of human calculation. The grounds on which the institution rests are

many. Even God felt it to be good to “rest” from His acts of creation.

(Genesis 2:2)  In some sense, he ceased for a time to work. Review and contemplation formed his Sabbath. His claims to have His day observed are myriad-fold. If Sabbath observance was beneficial for Jews, is it not for Gentiles?

If it was a blessing to man in the early ages, has it now become a curse? Even the

inferior creation was to share in the boon. Strangers and foreigners would

learn to admire the gracious arrangement, and learn the considerate

kindness of Jehovah God.




Ø      In accordance with the degree of kinship. A parent has claims beyond all

other men upon our love, obedience, and service. Parents are deserving our

heartfelt honor. They claim this on the ground of position and relationship,

irrespective of personal merit. Parents stand towards their children,

through all the years of infancy, in the stead of God. For years the human

babe is wholly dependent upon its parent; and this serves as schooling and

discipline, whereby it learns soon in life its dependence upon a higher

Parent yet. The disposition and conduct required in us towards our parents is the same in kind as that required towards God. Filial reverence is the first germ of true religion. Hence the promises of reward are akin. The family institution is the foundation of the political fabric. The health and well-being of home is the fount of national prosperity. If parents are honored, “it shall be well with thee.” This, a law for individuals, a law for society,

and a law for nations.


Ø      Our duty towards all men. We are to respect their persons. Their life

and health are to be as dear to us as our own. We are to respect their

virtue. The lower passions are to be held in restraint. Occasions for lust

must be avoided. A bridle must be put upon the glances of the eye. We are

to respect their property. This duty has extensive scope. It means that we

should deal with others as if they were ourselves. All dishonest dealing,

false representations in commerce, overreaching in bargains, fraudulent

marks, are condemned. We are to have respect to their reputation. It ought

to please us as much to see a conspicuous virtue, a generous quality, in

another, as if it shone in ourselves. Idle tale-bearing is forbidden, as also

detraction, slander, unfavorable interpretation of others’ deeds, and

suspicion of their motives. (Peace is promoted when we give others the

benefit of the doubt.  CY – 2020)  We are charged, as the servants of God, to “love our neighbors even as ourselves.”


Ø      This Divine Law carries its sanctions into OUR INTERIOR LIFE!