It seems today that we live in a world of uncert
ainty, painted in gray. Things that once seemed impermissible, whether by cultural or legal governance, are now widely accepted. Illegal drug use is being made legal in many states. Vulgarity, once taboo and censored, is now commonplace on television. Our government, once one of our most trusted institutions, remains shrouded in mistrust due to lies from its senior leadership over the past five decades. Murder is not only tolerated in some circles, it is glorified on internet sites where mass killings are kept on scoreboards.
Has our county really become a nation of gray? Is nothing black and white, right or wrong, anymore?
The answer is no. Our nation was founded on Godly principles, and they will always be here. Sometimes, we just have to be reminded of them and reminded that they are still there for us to lean on.
What better-known set of black and white policies have ever been given to the world than The 10 Commandments? Given to Moses, by God, to share with the world, he delivered them to Moses on Mt. Saini. If you’ve been exppsed to them in King James Version, you might have heard them as the “Thou shalt not” commandments. I present them here, from The Message, in today’s conversational language.
The 10 Commandments
- No other gods, only me.
- No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. Don’t bow down to them and don’t serve them because I am GOD, your God, and I’m a most jealous God, punishing the children for any sins their parents pass on to them to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation of those who hate me. But I’m unswervingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments.
- No using the name of GOD, your God, in curses or silly banter; GOD won’t put up with the irreverent use of his name.
- Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Work six days and do everything you need to do. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to GOD, your God. Don’t do any work—not you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servant, nor your maid, nor your animals, not even the foreign guest visiting in your town. For in six days GOD made Heaven, Earth, and sea, and everything in them; he rested on the seventh day. Therefore GOD blessed the Sabbath day; he set it apart as a holy day.
- Honor your father and mother so that you’ll live a long time in the land that GOD, your God, is giving you.
- No murder.
- No adultery.
- No stealing.
- No lies about your neighbor.
- No lusting after your neighbor’s house—or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don’t set your heart on anything that is your neighbor’s.
These remain in black in white, after all these Millenia, as absolutes we can, and must, follow. In reality, it’s comforting to know what the rules of engagement for good living are. They contain no ambiguity, making them easy to understand and follow. People perform at their best when they know what is expected of them, making The 10 Commandments a vital part of daily living.
Less known, but no less important, is the wisdom of King Solomon of Israel. Found within the book of Proverbs, Solomon’s teaching give us many ways to live a righteous, fulfilled live of Christianity and faith, spelled out in black and white. While reviewing Proverbs recently, I read these seven things that are absolutes by which God says we must live, from Proverbs 6:16-19.
Here are six things GOD hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion:
- eyes that are arrogant,
- a tongue that lies,
- hands that murder the innocent,
- a heart that hatches evil plots,
- feet that race down a wicked track
- a mouth that lies under oath,
- a troublemaker in the family.
Simple to follow, simple to understand. That’s the great thing about The 10 Commandments and the seven things God hates: they’re easy to obey. And we must.
The next time someone tells you that things aren’t black and white, and there’s a lot of gray area in life, teach them otherwise. Teach them with your words and by showing them in the scriptures. But, most importantly, teach them by modeling the black and white commandments of God. You’ll be more than just a better person; you’ll be a better Christian. You’ll also make our world a better place, one absolute at a time.
May God bless you, now and always.