As the autumn leaves fall outside reminding me of the changing seasons of life I’m reminded of my thoughts about what type of legacy am I leaving behind? Many of us would like to believe that our time spent on this earth in some way makes a difference. In particular we want it to have made a difference for our family. We think about retirement planning. We make wills and do estate planning. We buy life insurance. But that is all just “stuff.”
The commandments are way bigger than just a set of rules or laws. They contain structure. They contain order. They contain promises.
The first 4 commandments don’t just happen to be about our relationship with God. The first commandments are about our relationship with God because that relationship comes first. That is the most important thing.
They are also a reminder that what we do matters. We choose to obey or disobey. Once a law is written down, your actions and behavior are either on one side of the law or the other. There are no loopholes. They is no gray area. There isn’t an ability to be on one side but to appear to the judge that you are on the other side (especially since God is the judge and he sees and knows everything).
But in that realization that what we do matters, God has placed a promise – a really big promise. In the second commandment, Exodus 20:4-6 He reveals part of His character to us. He is a jealous God. He doesn’t want part of our heart. He wants it all. He doesn’t deserve part of the honor and glory, He deserves it all. When we deny Him that by allowing other gods to stand before or beside Him, when we bow down to those other “things”, it matters. This isn’t a threat – no more than the law of gravity is a threat or the law of inertia is a threat. If you ignore those laws, there are repercussions. In the same way, if you ignore this law of God, there are repercussions, big repercussions, that transcend your own life and affect your children, their children and even their children. God is in control, but we are making the choice. We see this reality all around us. The decision to reject and dishonor God by one generations affects multiple generations with pain and hardship. The decision to chase after other gods is a tear that takes its toll on children and the way they raise their children.
But we also read, hear and see the promise to those who obey as well. The punishment we bring on only lasts for 3 or 4 generations. But, the legacy we can provide, the rock solid foundation that we can begin to build on, is a shower of love from God for 1000 generations. I am blessed that my parents and grandparents built their lives on the rock of Christ Jesus. That blessing, that love from God, is passed to my children and to their grandchildren on and on and on. I am not perfect, my parents weren’t perfect, but God is perfect. What legacy are you leaving through the choice you are making in response to the 2nd commandment?
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery
By the mercy of god to reveal the depth of my sin and the inability for silver or gold or any act or possession I could bring to pay restitution for the brokeness of my choices. But to then receive the assurance and confidence that the sacrifice that Jesus made of His life was fully and completely sufficient.
20:3 – You shall have no other gods before me – Worship and trust in God first and God alone
20:4-6 – not make an image – not bow down to them or worship them – jealous, punish 3G/4G but show love to 1000G – legacy!
20:7 – not misuse name of the LORD your God – not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name – Only used for honor risk of guilt
20:8-11 – Remember Sabbath day by keeping it holy – no work nor cause others to work, not just relax, but holy: God blessed this day