THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
In order to get a clearer picture of the importance of the commandments we can read Joshua 3:1-6 and see the clear warnings given to Israel as to the way they were to conduct themselves while traveling with the Ark which contained the Commandments. The Ark was a chest that Israel used to carry the two tablets of stone upon which the Ten Commandments were written, also known as the terms of God's Covenant with Israel. The Ark was carried by priests in advance of the host. At its presence, the waters of Jordan separated and only when it was carried to the farther shore did the waters resume their usual course.
Many times the people saw the Ark and were reminded of what God had said about morals and standards of living. Inside the Ark was a standard for God's people to live by. The world around them was not under the laws nor were they honored with all the blessings God had for his people. The standards today are called the Ten Commandments, found in Exodus 20:3-17.
Thou shall have no other gods before me. We often boast we would never put anything before the Lord. Friends, we need to examine ourselves today.
Make no graven image of anything in heaven or in the earth beneath or that is in the water or under the earth. Every nation has some type of symbol, eagle, dragon or bear, etc.
Not to take the Name of the Lord in vain, Did you know the word vain means more than cursing? Using His Name when it does not bring glory to Him is using His Name in vain. Some say, "For Christ's sake" loosely. I believe this is also taking his name in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, six days shall thou labor and do all your work. We can certainly learn a lesson here, we consider the Christian Sabbath as Sunday. We need to get our work done and use Sunday to refresh our body and soul.
Honor your father and mother "that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God gives thee. The first commandment with promise. Eph. 6:2.
Thou shall not kill. So many ways this is done.
Thou shall not commit adultery. Adultery is destroying our people today. It causes you to feel dirty and guilty but the person it is done against suffers needlessly. You sin in many ways for you cause your body to become involved. The Bible says your body is the temple of God. You not only sin against God and your loved ones, but even against yourself.
Thou shall not steal has the law of the land to enforce it. Today there is more stealing and robbing than ever.
Bearing false witness against your neighbor and coveting the things that don't belong to you is a weakness to any society.
When the people saw the Ark of the Covenant they were reminded that God was in their presence. What about today? When people see the Church should they not be reminded that God is in the midst? As the Ark of the Covenant contained the Commandments of God, the Church should contain the Commandments of the Lord. What are the commandments of the Lord? John 13:34-35 tells us;
A new commandment I give you. That you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. There is a thought found in the first part of Joshua 3; and that being, the passage of Jordan portrays the experience of the believers in which by passing through death, he makes entry to the promised land of Heaven. The promised place of rest and refreshing could not be seen because of the overwhelming flood of the river. This barrier could be overcome only through God's promise. Friends, we are not home yet but we have the assurance that every obstacle, even the Jordan, can be rolled back by our Lord.