Until I created a meme last week to make a point about the Second Amendment, I had never considered the significance of why God had written the Ten Commandments in ‘stone’. The more I thought about it, the more it intrigued me and sparked my interest. Papyrus paper was widely used in Egypt for writing and recording information and the Israelites escaping from Egypt would have known that. God could have easily told Moses to write the commandments on papyrus, but he didn’t. Why was that?
Moving forward +/- 3,500 years, the Ten Commandments still remain written in stone, but as this country moves away from Christianity, the stone appears to be crumbling. Was it the failure of the quality of stone God gave to Moses or is it something far different? I believe it is the latter. Many in our society are taking hammers and chisels to the stone and breaking it into minute fragments, the same way they are metaphorically burning their Bibles. As this country moves away from Christianity, we are simultaneously destroying the most basic values it was founded on, God and the Ten Commandments.
Public display of the Ten Commandments has been under attack for the past 10-15 years or so. Equally true, various groups and individuals routinely go to court demanding crosses and the Ten Commandments be removed from various places because they deem them offensive. Additionally, multitudes of people abuse, defy or ignore the Ten Commandments by the minute. Here are a few examples (but certainly not limited to):
First Commandment – Thou shall have no other gods before me: There are a growing number of Satanists in this country that worship the devil and his symbol, as well as those that worship themselves, technology, wealth, possessions, etc. These have become the gods they worship and I fear, it is gaining momentum.
Second – Thou shalt not make any graven image: We used to think of idols and graven images in the context of those worshipped in antiquity. Today, I believe cell phones, pads/tablets, TVs, physical possessions, etc., could all be considered as idols being worshipped rather than God.
Third – Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: Profanity had always been frowned upon, but no more. Television shows, movies and hip hop/rap music promote the use of profanity continually. Using the Lord’s name in vain and other profane words that were taboo and totally off limits in those venues are now commonplace. Parents can take their children to church and make an earnest effort to teach them not to curse, but sadly, once they leave their homes, they hear it everywhere.
Fourth – Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy: On Sunday mornings, churches were packed, but not so much anymore. Yes, many churches still enjoy large memberships and attendance at services, but many churches are not that fortunate. Others have closed their doors completely because people pulled away from the church and stopped going. Why? It is partially a generational result of their non-Christian home-life growing up and I suppose there are those that were not strong enough in their faith to withstand the anti-Christian onslaught being pushed on them. While others simply do not take the time to go to church and have drifted away from it.
Fifth – Honor thy father and thy mother: Parents today, work hard to be ‘friends’ with their children instead of being parents. Many children do not honor their parents simply because they were never taught to. In many homes, technology devices have taken the place of parents, and therefore, no parent/child bonding is taking place or even possible. As people grow older in life, they often loose interest in their parents for various reasons and shut them out of their lives. That is when parents should be honored and cared for the most.
Sixth – Thou shalt not kill: We as a people, have become de-sensitized to the taking of life no matter the method or reason. What would have been shocking and unthinkable 30 years ago, is now accepted as just the way things are. Abortion is an outrage against God, yet, it continues and is fought for by millions of women. Violent content in all forms of media (especially video games) are having a very detrimental influence on both young and old. Anger, hate, rage, revenge, violence, etc., are just by-products of an anti-Christian society.
Seventh – Thou shall not commit adultery: The definition of marriage has changed and as such, most do not consider adultery anything other than a word that no longer applies or has relevance. For example, my mom and dad were deeply in love and married for 72 years (Mom died four weeks ago). My wife and I have been happily married nearly 51 years. I say that to make the point, marriage for us was a commitment and a union to be taken very seriously. Today, people marry for reasons other than love and commitment and have no expectation of making their marriages work for more than 3-5 years (5-7 max) . That doesn’t apply to all, but more than you might expect. The grass is greener on the other side or they have an arrangement where both are free to step out as attractions outside the marriage present themselves. Commitment, love and respect for each other have been removed from way too many marriages today, thus affairs outside the marriage are commonplace. Then, there are the married ‘swinger’ couples all across the country (thousands) that hook up with other couples once or twice a week/month, just to share each other sexually by partner swapping.
Eighth – Thou shall not steal: Not too many years ago, stealing was considered an abhorrent, disgusting act. Not today! Set a cell phone on the table at McDonald’s, turn your back and it’s gone, a neighbor sees a flower in bloom in another neighbor’s yard, it’s gone. Win an Oscar and set it on the table during an After Party, it’s gone! Stealing has become an accepted way of life and no one is shocked anymore when it happens. It is rampant everywhere.
Ninth – Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbor: Until recently, the word ‘neighbor’ literally applied, but I believe it has expanded to include family, friends, extended neighbors, social media exchanges and so on. People have become very outspoken and unrestrained in their hateful rhetoric when communicating with their fellow man/woman. Whether it be accusations, lies, misrepresentations or hurtful meanness toward someone else makes no difference. Family, friends or people they’ve never met are all fair game. The fact is, many relish the opportunity to do so, whenever possible..
Tenth – Thou shalt not covet: Defined: ‘yearn to possess or have (something)’. While it certainly still applies, the meaning today far exceeds the original intent of coveting a man’s wife, land or possessions. The need to possess has gotten to the point, people will lie, cheat, steal and yes, even kill to get whatever they want. I refer to it as the: “You have it, I want it” syndrome. Our world has become so material, it was inevitable.
Like many of you, I try to obey the Ten Commandments as best as humanly possible. For Christians, the Ten Commandments remain written in ‘stone’; safe, unblemished and for all time! Just as God intended!
(The views expressed above are my own. Please feel free to comment.)