Sustained by God’s Word of Peace and Justice
Deuteronomy 5:1-22: Today’s reading is part of Moses’s second speech and includes the heart of Israel’s religion—the Law that God gave to Moses and the people. Moses recounts God’s covenant with the Israelites and the commandments they were given at Mount Sinai. (A parallel account is in Exodus 20:1-17, the reading from October 1).
[Moses said:] “These are the commandments the LORD gave to all of you when you were gathered at the mountain.”
1Moses called together all the people of Israel and said to them, “People of Israel, listen to all the laws that I am giving you today. Learn them and be sure that you obey them.2At Mount Sinai the Lord our God made a covenant,3not only with our fathers, but with all of us who are living today.4There on the mountain the Lord spoke to you face-to-face from the fire.5I stood between you and the Lord at that time to tell you what he said, because you were afraid of the fire and would not go up the mountain.
“The Lord said,6‘I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from Egypt, where you were slaves.
7“‘Worship no god but me.
8 “‘Do not make for yourselves images of anything in heaven or on earth or in the water under the earth.9 Do not bow down to any idol or worship it, for I am the Lord your God and I tolerate no rivals. I bring punishment on those who hate me and on their descendants down to the third and fourth generation.10But I show my love to thousands of generations of those who love me and obey my laws.
11 “‘Do not use my name for evil purposes, for I, the Lord your God, will punish anyone who misuses my name.
12 “‘Observe the Sabbath and keep it holy, as I, the Lord your God, have commanded you.13 You have six days in which to do your work,14but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to me. On that day no one is to work—neither you, your children, your slaves, your animals, nor the foreigners who live in your country. Your slaves must rest just as you do.15Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and that I, the Lord your God, rescued you by my great power and strength. That is why I command you to observe the Sabbath.
16 “‘Respect your father and your mother, as I, the Lord your God, command you, so that all may go well with you and so that you may live a long time in the land that I am giving you.
17 “‘Do not commit murder.
18 “‘Do not commit adultery.
19 “‘Do not steal.
20 “‘Do not accuse anyone falsely.
21 “‘Do not desire another man's wife; do not desire his house, his land, his slaves, his cattle, his donkeys, or anything else that he owns.’
22 “These are the commandments the Lord gave to all of you when you were gathered at the mountain. When he spoke with a mighty voice from the fire and from the thick clouds, he gave these commandments and no others. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me.
Have you ever memorized the Ten Commandments? What role do they play in your life? Why is it important to obey God’s laws?
Sovereign God, teach me to listen to your voice and to obey your commandments. Remind me of your mighty deeds and of your steadfast love, mercy, and care. Amen.
Those who are learning the Ten Commandments
Deuteronomy 5:23-33: The people tell Moses their fears.