by Tony Nester

The Ten Commandments: God's Expectations
Tony R. Nester
Exodus 20:1-17

Whenever I go to eat at a restaurant I hope that I'm not going to be assigned an overly friendly waiter or waitress. You know the kind a mean. He or she informs you of his or her name, place of birth, current feelings, and then begins to ask how I am and how I feel and what special occasion has brought me out to this restaurant. This is not what I want in a waiter or waitress. What I want is someone to explain the menu and then bring my order in a timely fashion. I don't want a serious relationship with my waiter or waitress. I just want good service.

It's easy for us to treat God the way I treat waiters and waitresses. We just want God to give us good service. We like to order up whatever blessings we think should be on the religious menu of our choice.

But God refuses to be our waiter or waitress.

God is very serious about being God. And God insists on being taken seriously by us. We live in His world. We breathe His air. He expects us to live according to His design and not according to our preferences.

This is the message of the Ten Commandments. God is serious about us and expects us to be serious about God. These Ten Commandments are ten expectations God has of you and me and every human being.

The Hebrew people chose a word to describe these commandments. The word was "torah" and it is used more than 200 times in our Old Testament. The central idea of torah is that of instruction received from a superior authority.

The Jewish people came to believe that the Ten Commandments were God's instruction on how He expected them to live.

This instruction was given in two parts -- often portrayed in two stone tablets.

The first part is about how we are to treat God:
1. I am the Lord Your God; you shall have no other gods
2. You shall not make idols
3. You shall not misuse My Name
4. You shall keep the Sabbath Day holy.

The second pa ...

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