God-Given Structure

“Looking Up During Uncertain Times”

A Daily Devotional

Text:  Exodus 20:1-19 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Scripture Reading: 

20 Then God said all these words:

א 2 “I am Adonai your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the abode of slavery.

ב 3 “You are to have no other gods before me. 4 You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline. 5 You are not to bow down to them or serve them; for I, Adonai your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but displaying grace to the thousandth generation of those who love me and obey my mitzvot.

ג 7 “You are not to use lightly the name of Adonai your God, because Adonai will not leave unpunished someone who uses his name lightly.

ד 8 “Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God. 9 You have six days to labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Shabbat for Adonai your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work — not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates to your property. 11 For in six days, Adonai made heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. This is why Adonai blessed the day, Shabbat, and separated it for himself.

ה 12 “Honor your father and mother, so that you may live long in the land which Adonai your God is giving you.

ו 13 “Do not murder.

ז (14) “Do not commit adultery.

ח (15) “Do not steal.

ט (16) “Do not give false evidence against your neighbor.

י 14 (17) “Do not covet your neighbor’s house; do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox, his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

(A: vii) 15 (18) All the people experienced the thunder, the lightning, the sound of the shofar, and the mountain smoking. When the people saw it, they trembled. Standing at a distance, 16 (19) they said to Moshe, “You, speak with us; and we will listen. But don’t let God speak with us, or we will die.”

*In Jewish translations the name Moses is Moshe. It’s the same person.

Reflection: 

Three months after leaving Egypt the Isrealite people have set up camp at the base of Mt. Sinai. As they set up their community in the new location, God gives Moses what we now call “The Ten Commandments.” These ten rules were meant to give the community structure and guidance as they established themselves in a new location without the previous government. God continuously cared for the Isrealites and this included by providing the structure of rules.

Prayer: 

Hi God! Thank you for the continuous care and love that you show to people throughout the story of the exodus. Thank you for continuing to care about us today too. Amen.

Focus for the Day: God Given Structure

Author: Rachel Dudley, Director of Children’s Ministry

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