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The Ten Commandments

I expect many of us watched the movie “The Ten Commandments” at some point in our life. Big-name stars like Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner portrayed the main characters. And, we witnessed the epic battle of good verse evil through their portrayal of Moses and Pharaoh. Filming the movie still stands as an epic undertaking and launched the film into an instant classic still watched by many people. Also, some sixty years after its release, it is still one of the most popular faith films ever shown. And, as Easter rolls around again next year, I am sure the movie will make its annual appearance. 

Aside from the movie, have you ever stopped to ponder the ten commandments purpose for us? Can you name all of them? I confess I could not remember all of them by heart, so I had to refresh my memory by looking them up in Exodus. So, let’s dig into the real story of the Ten Commandments and why they are still essential to us today.


God gave Moses the commandments on Mt Sinai after the Israelites had traveled the desert for about 50 days. Once they arrived at the mountain, Moses went up and spent the next 40 days receiving and recording the instructions from God. Then he brought down the stone tablets for the people of God. They contained guidance on living a good life that was pleasing to God. Throughout history, those words Moses brought down still remain as the basis of many of our modern-day laws. And, they continue to guide us in our faith walk. 

The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments

Here is the short version of commandments. Also, you can see the full description in Exodus 20

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall not make idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.

God gave these instructions to Moses so His people could begin to learn obedience to God’s will. But, Jesus’ birth many years later would bring an end to a lot of the ancient Jewish laws and rituals found in the Old Testament. And, as those statutes fell away, New Testament Jews retained the commandments to guide them. Soon our ancestors came to understand that belief in the risen Savior and obedience to the commandments allowed them to be a Godly people. Also, their newfound freedom from the old ways would be a challenge without these guiding words. 


Looking at the list above, we can observe the Ten Commandments in three separate parts. So, we will start by looking at the first three commands. These teach us about how to be in a genuine relationship with God. Also, they help us understand that He is a Holy God who is also the creator of all things. And, we need to approach Him with a Holy reverence that acknowledges Him as the Lord of our lives. Proverbs 9:10 (NIV) sums up the importance of these rules, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Fear in this verse means to view God’s authority and power with profound awe and respect.  


Next, the second command looks at how to care for ourselves. In fact, God wants us to rest from our labors. And, He understands the importance of recharging our bodies and minds. But this is more than just sleeping and taking things easy. God wants to be our source for real rest. Also, Godly rest refreshes our body, mind, and soul even during turmoil. Matthew 11:28 (NIV) confirms this by telling us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”


Finally, the remaining commands look at how we live in peace with those around us. First, we must honor those who cared for us as children. Then, we see the list gets specific with the things we should not do. We should not kill, commit adultery, steal, lie about our neighbor, or be jealous of their possessions. Lots of “do not” in this list. But, we can summarize this list with Psalm 34:14 (NIV), “Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”

The Greatest Command

Therefore, God gave these rules to Moses to help the people understand how to live a life pleasing to God. And they still help us today as they as the basis for our laws. But, when Jesus came to earth, He changed many things from the Old Testament times. And, although the Ten Commandments still apply to us today, Jesus summed up a life pleasing to Him in the following discussion. Then, Jesus shared His thoughts after being asked, which is the greatest commandment in Matthew 22; “37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”


Likewise, if we love God, love ourselves, and love our neighbors, we live a God-pleasing life. And I think that is much easier to remember than memorizing the list of Ten Commandments. In fact, when we love others correctly, we fulfill the law.


My Heavenly Father, I want to live a life that is pleasing to You. So, please show me the places I fail to love others the way You want me to. And, I want to thank you for the gift of the Ten Commandments to teach me right from wrong. Strengthen me daily in my faith and guide my steps.And, grant me peace each night as I rest in You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


Yvonne M. Morgan, #author, #blogger, and #speaker.

Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

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This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Marcie Cramsey

    What a great summary of the 10 Commandments! I particularly love how you sum them up with Jesus’ command to love God and love others. Truly if we are loving him, becoming like him, then morally and relationally, we will also do what is pleasing to God.

    1. Yvonne Morgan

      Love is the foundation of so much of our faith besides believing and forgiveness. We need our lives to reflect God. Thanks Marcie and God bless

  2. mimionlife

    What a different place the world would be if we would follow the 10 Commandments. I pray we all show the love of God to each other every day.

    1. Yvonne Morgan

      Amen. With everything happening, I really thought about getting back to the basics of our faith and with that we can make a difference in the anger around us. Thanks Melissa and God bless.

  3. Jessica Brodie

    This is so good. A few years ago I decided I needed to really understand the Ten Commandments. I really think they are so important as a foundation for a healthy society!

    1. Yvonne Morgan

      Thanks Jessica. I think it would help us so much to get to the basics. We need a healthier society. God bless.

  4. Ava Pennington

    Timely reminder of God’s instructions for how to live.
    May I add one more point? The Ten Commandments were, indeed, given to show us how to live a life that pleases God.
    AND they were also given to make the point that we will never be able to accomplish that perfectly without the new life – and indwelling Holy Spirit – that salvation in Jesus brings. The Law was given to show God’s people their need for the prophesied coming Messiah/Savior!

    1. Yvonne Morgan

      Thanks Ava. I appreciate your thoughts on the Ten Commandments. God bless.

  5. Melinda Viergever Inman

    We all come to the Lord broken. We thought that we already knew how to live, but then we botched it all in one way or another. Like the Israelites coming out of Egypt after 400 years, we know nothing. We only thought we did, and so that list of ten informs us, and we quickly see our failures! Learning to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves equips us to walk in obedience to all of the rest and to draw every closer to the Lord. A great post, Yvonne!

    1. Yvonne Morgan

      We really don’t know very much but we deceive ourselves with the fake wisdom the world offers us. We must look to Him for our understanding. Thanks so much Melinda. I always appreciate your thoughts. God bless.

  6. buierocks2002

    Yvonne, I enjoyed your blog! Well, I almost always do! 🙂 But, today your words made me question whether my life pleases God? 🙂 As a believer and follower of Christ for many years now, it is not often that I sit and even ask myself such a question. However, I did so today. 🙂 Thanks for your blog.

    1. Yvonne Morgan

      Thanks so much Diane. Thanks for visiting and commenting. I think it is important to stop occasionally evaluate our faith and relationship with Christ. But, don’t beat yourself up because none of us measure up. God’s grace provides us the knowledge that we are always lived. We just keep in trying to get better. Thanks and God bless

  7. Karen Friday

    Thank you, Yvonne! We don’t take a deeper look at the Ten Commandments enough! And I don’t like it when “Christians” claim we aren’t under them anymore, or the old law. It’s not a matter of following the law for a relationship with God. Jesus came to fulfill it to bring us into relationship with God. Now we obey because we love God. Love how you brought them to light in 3 areas.

    1. Yvonne Morgan

      Thanks Karen. We are in agreement about there importance to our faith. I like how you said it, God came to fulfill the law. It all ties together so that we can be faithful in the sight of God. God bless.

  8. Nancy E. Head

    I love this analysis–God, ourselves, others. God takes these commands seriously as we should too. And we are the ones who pay a dear price if we disregard them.

    1. Yvonne Morgan

      Yes, it is costly not to follow God’s commands as we are seeing in our world today. Thank you for added your thoughts and God bless.

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