This chapter is about the 10 Commandments, idols, & altars. The 10 commandments are another cornerstone of the Christian & Jewish faiths. It’s all the good stuff: don’t kill, don’t steal. God also gives some rules for altars & idols. I hope y’all enjoy the read!
God told Moses the 10 Commandments:
- You won’t have any other gods before me. (People nowadays take that to mean: Putting something as your God like money before God God. But back then, there was a LONG history of believing in multiple gods. Look at the Romans, Sumarians, Ancient Egyptians.)
- Don’t make idols! God says that he’s a jealous God. And that He’ll punish children for the sins of fathers all the way down to 3rd or 4th generation to those who hate God. But He’ll show love to 1,000 generations of those who love Him & keep His commandments.
- Don’t use God name in vain. Like saying “God darn it,” etc.
- Keep the Sabbath holy. Don’t do any work on this day, no one!
- Respect/Honor your mom & dad. So that you may live longer in the land I’m (God) giving you. (Ha, ha! This one now, as a parent, makes me smile! And I think that this one make every parent smile. Also check out Matthew 15:4 & Matthew 19:18-19.)
- Don’t kill people. (You can find this also in James 2:11, Deuteronomy 5:17-18, Romans 13:9, & Matthew 5:verses 21 & 27.)
- Don’t commit adultery. (Now most people believe that this means in relationships. But there can spiritual adultery. There are more than 1 kind of adultery. You can also find this in Romans 13:9 & Matthew chapter 5 verses 21 & 27.)
- Don’t steal. Anything from anyone. Keep ya hands to yourselves. (You can find this, again, in Romans 13:9 & Matthew chapter 5 verses 21 & 27.)
- Don’t be telling lies on people.
- Don’t covet other people’s stuff. Don’t even think it! (Check out Romans 7:7 & 13:9.)
When the Israelites saw the thunder, lightening, & heard the trumpet, plus saw the smoke-covered mountain, they were so scared they were trembling. The people stayed at a distance. They say to Moses, “Speak to us & we’ll listen. But don’t have God talk to us or we’ll die!”
Moses tells the people not to be afraid & God has come to test them. So that the fear of God will be with them to keep them from sinning. The Israelites stayed at a distance. Meanwhile, Moses went toward the thick darkness where God was. (Why would God be in “thick darkness?” I thought that God was the light.)
Then God told Moses to tell the Israelites (Yes, again.) that they have to make an altar to Him. Make the altar out of earth, God says. They also had to sacrifice their burnt & peace offerings on the altar. God then says, “Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I’ll come to you & bless you.” (Exodus 20:24) Then God told the Israelites that the altar is to be made of stone & with uncut, unworked stones. The worked, cut stones would’ve defiled the altar. God also says not to go up to His altar via steps because God’s not cool with the nakedness being any kind of exposed anywhere NEAR his altar.