Laws to Live By

Lou Lotz

READ : Matthew 5:17-19

Whoever does [the commandments] and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (v. 19)

Wherever the children of Israel went in their wilderness wanderings they carried with them the Ark of the Covenant. When the Ark was borne by priests into the Jordan River, the waters separated. When the Ark was paraded for seven days around the city of Jericho, the walls came tumbling down. The Ark was a box made of acacia wood, about four feet by two feet by two feet. Outside and inside it was overlaid with pure gold burnished to such a mirror finish that, beneath the dessert sun, it must have hurt your eyes to look at it. A very fancy, elaborate carrying case, the Ark. What was in it? Two slabs of sandstone, on which were written ten laws:

“You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image. . . . You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain. . . . Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. . . . Honor your father and your mother. . . . You shall not murder. . . . You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet” (Exod. 20:3-17).

Ten laws—two positive, eight negative; the first four concerning our relationship with God, the remaining six concerning our relationship with each other. Ten simple statements that have thundered across the centuries. May God write on our hearts the words he once wrote on tablets of stone—the Ten Commandments.


Thank you for your law, O God.