Postscript to the Law
by Pr. Dave Mann
Now that the Lord has conveyed the Ten Commandments to Moses with which to instruct the people of God, he adds some clarifying words.
No gods to come alongside the true God. We humans have a tendency to want to enhance God’s image, as though he needed us to conduct a PR campaign for him. We say, “We’re not trying to replace God, just to help him out a bit. If we associate God with these other things that people already like, then they will like God more!” To which God says, “Nope, nada, nyet, non!”
No gods made of silver and gold. I remember learning in Sunday school that the people in the Bible often had idols made of precious metals. My first reaction was to think that we were safe from that sin, “No idols in my life!” – until the teacher clarified that this prohibition also applied to the love of the stuff that silver and gold could buy us. “Uh-oh. Guilty as charged!”
Sacrifices of offerings, sheep, goats, and cattle. Yet another aspect of the story that seemed to miss where I lived, but this time it’s something I was supposed to do and I didn’t. In fact, nobody did! The Sunday school teacher came through again! She pointed us to Romans 12:1 -- Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you. This seems to be the point of the entire postscript to the Ten Commandments – honoring God’s name and that he desires to bless his people. Two verses come to mind as we view to culmination of the kingdom of God. The first shows how God himself is blessed and honored, and the second shows how God desires to bless us. In Revelation 7, as the great throng of people from every people group gathers around the throne of God, the angels proclaim, “Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen” (Rev 7:12). And in the last chapter of the Bible, “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.” (Rev 22:14)
Almighty God, from the beginning to the end, you are God. You are worthy of all honor and blessing. You are the source of all blessings that we receive, though we do not deserve it. Lord God, command what you will, and grant what you command. Allow us the gracious privilege to live according to your Law, in Jesus’ name, Amen.