The Ten Commandments Are About Relationships

By: Bill Bratt

Many people think of the Ten Commandments as a bunch of ‘Don’ts’ or ‘Thou Shall Nots’, but when we take a closer look at the Ten Commandments we see that all of the Commandments are about relationships.

First Four Commandments

The first four of the commandments guides us in our relationship with God and are proclaimed by God in Exodus 20:

1st. Commandment: {3} "You shall have no other gods before me."

2nd. Commandment: {4} "You shall not make unto you 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 water under the earth: {5} You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your 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; {6} And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."

3rd. Commandment: {7} "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain."

4th. Commandment: {8} "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. {9} Six days shall you labor, and do all your work: {10} But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor the stranger that is within your gates: {11} For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it."

The first four commandments tell us what God requires in our relationship with Him. God wants to be first in our lives. We can not make any graven images or idols. Many Americans idolize their cars. New automobiles are beautiful and expensive and we may covet one in our driveway or we may dream of driving it around town with a smile on our face, but we have to be careful not to make an idol of it. We cannot put our mates, children, job, country, our favorite sport or hobby ahead of God. We must put God first.

We must respect and honor God'’s name. We would not like it if someone defamed our name. We don't like it if we hear someone putting down our mate, our children, our mother or our father. Why then would we want to disrespect and profane the name of our spiritual Father.

The Fourth Commandment is special. In our relationship with God, He wants us to spend time with Him. He took the seventh day of the week (Saturday) and ordained it and blessed it as holy time and called it the Sabbath. He wants us to keep this day holy by worshiping Him, singing psalms and praises to Him and learning more about Him and His Son, Jesus Christ, and His plan of salvation.

The keeping of the first four Commandments is our foundation in having a good relationship with God.

The Last Six Commandments

Now let’s look at the last six of the Ten Commandments that deal with our relationships with man, family, friends, neighbors and our co-workers.

5th. Commandment: {12} "Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God gives you."

The 5th. Commandment is about family. Family is extremely important to God. Notice that this commandment has a promise, that if you honor your parents, your days will be long, in other words, you will live a long life.

6th. Commandment: " You shall not kill."

Other translations use the word ‘murder’ instead of ‘kill’. The law differentiated accidental killing from deliberate and premeditated murder and required capital punishment for the latter.

Notice that Jesus amplified this commandment in His Sermon on the Mount from the letter of the law to the spiritual intent when He said: "That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: .... whosoever shall say, You fool, shall be in danger of hell fire" (Matthew 5:21-26). Obviously the spiritual intent is hatred to the point of wanting to hurt someone. The opposite of hate is love. We are to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 19:19).

7th. Commandment: {14} "You shall not commit adultery."

Notice that Jesus also amplified this commandment from the letter of the law to the spiritual intent when He said: "That whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-30). This Commandment also protects the family. If you want to have a good relationship with your neighbor then keep your hands off of his wife.

8th. Commandment: {15} "You shall not steal."

This commandment identifies personal property. "This car is mine. This car is not yours. It is illegal and a sin for you to steal my car." If you borrow something from your neighbor then return it. Trust is an important part of our relationship with our neighbor.

9th. Commandment: {16} "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."

You are not to testify falsely against your neighbor in court. This is perjury. A person will not trust someone who doesn’t tell the truth and this is devastating to a relationship which requires truth and honesty.

10th. Commandment: {17} "You shall not covet your neighbor's house, you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor any thing that is your neighbor's."

The 10th. Commandment is the one that is spiritually broken before breaking any of the other commandments. We lust for something then we steal it.

In Conclusion:

If you want to have a good relationship with God, your family, friends and neighbors then keep the Ten Commandments.

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