Obeying Exodus 20

The first four commands in the Ten Commandments center on Israel's relationship with God. As you read them remember four things.

  1. Read Exodus 20:1-2 first. See the previous post on this. The story of God's salvation is the important foundation for keeping commands. 
  2. Therefore, keeping the commands is not a raw deal. It's not God being a kill-joy.
  3. Commands center life on the One who saved them, not on false gods who can't save them.
  4. Finally, God has saved His people and called them to be different from other nations, set apart as holy people to be light to other nations. So the commands arise out of the story of salvation, and keeping them is part of being a holy redeemed people for God.


As I heard a Kenyan Christian pray in 1989, "You are the only God who can save us! You are the One who can help us! You are the One who can give us everything we need!" We ask you for wisdom, Holy God, to keep the commands as you intend, to put no one or ourselves as ruler -- no one but You!

Action Step

Sit down a minute and reflect about the following: what are some idolatrous ways we live in our times? This is serious business and God does not take idolatry lightly. What are habits you have that leave God completely out of the picture? Do you think parts of your life don't get God's input? What always seems to come before God? Do you use God's name in vain? Do you say God's name lightly: things like "Oh God!" or "God d--- it?" A big action step for us is to learn to revere God as the One who saved us and who doesn't just suggest but commands our reverence, awe, and obedience.


Greg Taylor

Greg Taylor preaches for The Journey. Greg's wife, Jill, teaches math at Broken Arrow High School and Tulsa Community College. Greg and Jill have three adult children, Ashley, Anna, and Jacob. Greg is the author of many books, including his latest co-authored with Randy Harris, Daring Faith: Meeting Jesus in the Book of John.

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