93: Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 8 – The Ten Commandments and the Tabernacle: Exodus 20-36

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick



Exodus 20-36

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Now, we left off in our last lesson, We were teaching that the law still has control over the whole human race. If you just stop and think about it, whether they are pagans or absolute atheists, or whatever, any society on earth must have some sort of a fabric as the Ten Commandments laid out for the human race. The law in itself is given specifically to the Nation of Israel. I have put the Ten Commandments in brief form on the board. But let’s read them in our Bible in their entirety. Then I will come back and comment on them as I have them listed on the board. The thing I want you to catch, is that all five of the first commandments will be connected with that statement. The last five, the LORD thy God is never mentioned. So be aware of that.

Exodus 20:2-5

“I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage (and here comes the direct command) Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee 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: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy 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;”

Now, we must stop for a moment. A lot of people have asked me, “What does this really mean?” I think all you have to do is just look at some of the present day statements from our psychologists and psychiatrists, with regard to how certain qualities within a family will carry on down from generation to generation. And you may ask, what are you talking about? Abuse. You take the child who has lived under an abusive father. We now know that by far the greatest percentage of the time, when that child becomes a father, he normally will be an abusive father also. We call it in agriculture, livestock and poultry, and etc., the pecking order. That was first coined years ago by the Ag college researcher when they were watching particular chickens. And all of a sudden they realized that in every flock of chickens, whether small or large, they noticed that immediately they set up a pecking order. I’ve watched it, and it is true in most livestock also. They will immediately, when you put a bunch together, establish their pecking order. And the one down at the bottom will never try to compete with the one at the top.

And that is exactly what the human make-up does, It establishes a pecking order. If you have an abusive father, he in turns abuses his wife, and who will she invariably turn on? The children. And then you have the children under that kind of abuse from their mother, they must have someone to pick on. And have you ever seen or read accounts of a child catching a butterfly and pulling it’s wings off. Why? He has to have something to vent his feelings on, and he can’t compete with those above him, so he takes something beneath him.

This is the way the human make-up operates until the very power of a Sovereign God comes into that life. And that’s why we must realize that society today is in the shape that is in because they have pushed God out of their thinking. We have pushed Him out of our schools, and homes, and then wonder why things are going on like they are. That is all wrong, and so God is warning that these traits will take off down the line for generation after generations. Alcoholism is another good example of generation after generation in the same family. And that is what the Scripture is saying about 1500 years before Christ. So it is not anything new. Now, for the third command, let’s read verse 7:

Exodus 20:7,8

“Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”

But verse 9 is part of that commandment, as well as verse 8. And as I was thinking on these things, most of my preparation on this one was while I was in the hay field. That is where I can do my best thinking anyway, setting on that tractor, with nothing else to distract me. It suddenly dawn on me that part of this command concerning the Sabbath is six days thou shall what? Work. And that is such a dirty word for so many people anymore. People don’t really want to work. I can remember, back when I was in the service, I had a young man from the east coast, who worked under me. And he actually thought that work of any kind was a dirty word. He honestly thought you were not an intellectual unless you could get out of doing any kind of work.

I was thinking along these same lines: the people that are so strong in our midst, and I love them, who think that all of our problems are because we don’t keep the Sabbath. How may of those same people would be willing to work six days? Most don’t want to work more than five, and some four or less. Many times we take a portion of Scripture we like and it fits us fine. But we leave out what we don’t like. So part of the commandment to keep the Sabbath also says six days you will work. The seventh one you can rest. And again I’m tying this one in with the first five, that are man’s relationship with his God, because of the statement now in verse 10:

Exodus 20:10

“But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God:….”

Now, I know there are some groups that take this commandment and put it with the final six as being part of man’s relationship with man, but I prefer to keep it up here in the first five.Remember the first five are man’s relationship to God because of that connecting link – The LORD thy God over and over. And the other five, man’s relationship with man, because The LORD thy God is not included in any of those five. Let’s read on in verse 11:

Exodus 20:11

“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.”

Let’s go into the fifth one. And this one is also in the first five again because of that statement of the LORD thy God.

Exodus 20:12

“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”

Those five are held together then by that connecting link. The last five of course are much simpler and again just stop and think. How long can a society hold together if you absolutely ignore, especially, these last five? Well it can’t. In fact we have missionary friends who have ministered to uncivilized tribes in the area of South America.

Many of you remember years ago when the five missionaries were killed by the Auca indians. Our friends work in that same area, and they started with literally uncivilized people, still running in the jungle with their bow and arrows, with nothing but a loin cloth on. And they befriended them and finally brought them out where they could communicate with them. I know Dick has said more than once, it was so amazing that, when they brought those uncivilized tribes out, they had a moral code. A moral code, that often would make America look pretty sick. Where do they get it? In Romans the apostle Paul tells us for those who did not have the written law, where did God put the law? – In their heart. The conscience meanwhile accusing, or excusing them. Even the uncivilized people of the world, in order to maintain their little tribes, must have some sort of a law that is patterned after what God gave here to Moses. Now verse 13, this is the sixth commandment:

Exodus 20:13-17

“Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery (number seven). Thou shalt not steal (number eight). Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour (number nine). Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s(number ten).

I hadn’t intended to look at Romans right now but I feel we need to. Thou shalt not covet is the one commandment that puts the apostle Paul in an awareness of all the others. Romans Chapter 7. This is a difficult Chapter, I know. And we are not going to comment on it today. But nevertheless, Paul is going through the awful turmoil of what I think all of us experience at one time or other. The things we should do, and the things that we want to do, but we don’t do, and the things that we shouldn’t do, but we do anyway. So this is his dilemma. He says in verse 7:

Romans 7:7

“What shall we say then? `Is the law (The Ten, the moral law) sin?’ God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin (I wouldn’t really understand what God’s perfect demands were), but by the law: for I had not known lust (that is desire), except the law had said, `Thou shalt not covet.'”

Now, when you really think about it, and that is what I try to get people to do – when you get up in the morning and you are getting ready to begin your day’s work, and you have a little time to do some thinking, I want you to mull these things over. Is it possible to break one of the other nine commandments, without first coveting? If you have never thought about it, you won’t answer. But if you have thought about it you know that coveting is at the root of breaking every one of the commandments, and that is why Paul makes reference to it.

I suppose the one most people would wonder about is taking the name of the LORD thy God in vain. How can you maintain that a man who curses and swears, using God’s name in vain, is coveting? If you know anything about psychology, then that is easy. Why do people curse and swear? I’ll tell you why, for the same reason the little kid who gets no attention at home is a cut up in school. What does he want? Attention. What does a guy that curses and swears, and uses foul language think he is getting? Attention. That is what it boils down to. He is coveting attention.

Now, with regard to these Ten commandments, I would like to go to Jesus’ ministry in Matthew 22. If you noticed as we read those commandments in Exodus, there was one word glaringly absence. Who know what it is? Love. You didn’t see that word in there did you? No. I know when you get to Deuteronomy Chapter 6, Moses tells the children of Israel,“Know that the LORD thy God is one God.” And what does the next verse say? “And thou shalt love him with all thy heart.” But stop again and think. Can anyone of you force someone else to love you? You can’t force someone to love anybody. And God knew He couldn’t.

So I think that is the reason the word love is not in any of the Ten Commandments. But from the very onset of the creation of man, why did God create man in the first place? So that He (God) could have someone, that after He had extended His love, would love Him back. And that is the only reason we are here. God had angels, He had enough to populate all the universe as far as that goes, but He did not have someone that had that capability of returning His extended love. Turn to Matthew 22:

Matthew 22:35-40

“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, `Master, which is the great commandment in the law (he thought he was putting Jesus on the spot didn’t he? But look how Jesus answered)?” Jesus said unto him, `Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.'”

Now, wait a minute; was that last statement in the Ten Commandments? Did you read it in there back in Exodus Chapter 20, that thou shalt love thy neighbor?” What has Jesus done? Well when He said to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, He is referring to the first five. And when we are aware of these first five commandments, of how God is approaching us from His point of view, what is it intrinsic for us to do? To love Him. When we realize that He is the Supreme God, and is the One who will not give in to competition from idols etc. When He is the one who has created everything, and has set up the home, and that is the reason I put the father and mother with the first five. The home is part and parcel of God’s plan for the ages. This is where everything is supposed to be taking place.

And so He puts these two commandments into perspective. This is the first one, thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and the second with our relationship with our fellow man. With our home, family, and neighbors. So what is Jesus really telling this smart alec? And that was what he was, who thought, “Well I’ve got Him this time.” And Jesus just simply lumps the two into two great areas of human relationship, Man with his God, and man with his fellow man.

Now, I think we have time to turn to the Book of Romans, where Paul just puts the frosting on the cake. I want to be known to anyone I have ever taught as a teacher who maintains that we are not under Law but under Grace. But I also want you to realize that I’m not throwing the law out the window, as having no use to us. It is basic of course, even in the age of Grace. Everyone of us as a child of God are going to fail, but hopefully by God’s Grace, how are we responding to these Ten commandments? They are the very core of our social fabric aren’t they? Now, look at what Paul says in Romans 13.

Romans 13:8

“Owe no man any thing (this could have been translated defraud no man), but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath (past tense) fulfilled the law.”

Now, we had better define. My definition of the love that Paul is talking about is not erotic love, or Hollywood’s idea of love. Paul here is talking about a love that seeks the other person’s highest good. You might want to write that in the fly leaf of your Bible. It is the best definition of love I have ever come across. It is not original with me, I heard it years ago, and I have always liked it. There is nothing involved in that as far as hugging and kissing and a physical attraction. It is just simply seeking the other person’s highest good. If our young people, in their courting, would keep that uppermost in their minds, would we be in the moral shape we are in? Of course not. For if the young man dating that lovely little girl would have her highest good on his mind, would he try to bring her into an immoral situation? No.

You take a husband and his wife, or a neighbor with a neighbor, as long as we are always attempting to do, whatever we do, the other person’s highest good, then Paul says we are fulfilling the whole Law. It becomes so simple, but we have to understand, that we can do none of this just simply on the basis of commanding.

We need to remember that from the very onset in the Garden of Eden, when old Satan approached Adam and Eve, and got Adam to eat and sin came on the scene, who now becomes God’s greatest adversary? Satan. Stop and think, everything that God says is best for us not to do, Satan says do it. Look at the heartaches out there in the world today. Why are there so many? Because they have gone contrary to what God has set down as our best. He knows what is best. And no society can survive by totally going contrary to these Ten Commandments. But if you get nothing else from this lesson always remember, that when you have loved another, you have fulfilled the Law.

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