Moses received the commandments from God Himself in what must have been a frightening scene for the people of Israel to witness. God was speaking from Mount Sinai which was belching smoke and surrounded by flashes of lightning and the noise of thunder. It is just less than 7,500 feet high and surrounded by other taller mountain peaks. The rocks in the area are volcanic and originate from far below the surface. Whatever the explanation for the sight that Moses and the people saw, it was certainly terrifying.
It was during this episode that God made it clear to His people that they should worship Him and Him alone. After exile in Egypt where the people worshipped many gods, this was the first and a very clear commandment.
However, by the time of Jesus, the Pharisees and teachers of religious law were rebuked by Jesus. Yes, on the outside they obeyed all the commandments, laws and rituals but inside their hearts were full of jealousy and conceit. So much so that Jesus calls them hypocrites on several occasions.
What have we learned 2000 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? Do we obey the commandments with all our hearts or just pay lip service to them? What gods do we worship? Money, technology and pleasure can all take over our lives and become our gods.
It is important in our busy lives to take time out to pray, to read the scriptures, to listen to God and put aside some time each day to spend in silence with Almighty God. Then we can put into practice what we have learned.
Trust God in His infinite mercy and he will give us the strength to resist temptation in our world and provide us with the protection, strength and courage to place Christ at the centre of our lives in preparation for eternal life.
Scripture: Exodus 19:16-21:21; Matthew 23:13-39; Psalm 28:1-9; Proverbs 7:1-5