February 24, 2010

A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 07



Monte Holland

This is the seventh in a series of daily Lenten devotionals called “Scriptural Lessons Leading to a Godly and Moral Life.” To start the study, click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Introduction or

To view yesterday’s A DAILY ON-LINE LENTEN STUDY GUIDE click on: A Daily Online Lenten Study Guide: Day 06

 Today’s photographs feature Hebron Evangelical Lutheran Church in Blairsville, PA.:


Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. (Psalm 1:1-3 NRSV)

     Our detailed look at the Godly, moral life starts with the Law. The Bible teaches over and over that we should meditate on the Law. Psalm 119, the longest psalm by far (176 verses), has section after section all devoted to the importance of the Law. Psalm 1 states that happy people delight in the Law and meditate on it day and night.

     The most familiar portion of the Law is the Ten Commandments:

The Ten Commandments (Part 1) – Exodus 20:1-11 (NRSV)

(also see Deuteronomy 5:1-15)

     1God said to the people of Israel:

    2I am the LORD your God, the one who brought you out of Egypt where you were slaves.

    3Do not worship any god except me.

    4Do not make idols that look like anything in the sky or on earth or in the ocean under the earth. 5Don’t bow down and worship idols. I am the LORD your God, and I demand all your love. If you reject me, I will punish your families for three or four generations. 6But if you love me and obey my laws, I will be kind to your families for thousands of generations.

    7Do not misuse my name. [a] I am the LORD your God, and I will punish anyone who misuses my name. 8Remember that the Sabbath Day belongs to me. 9You have six days when you can do your work, 10but the seventh day of each week belongs to me, your God. No one is to work on that day–not you, your children, your slaves, your animals, or the foreigners who live in your towns. 11In six days I made the sky, the earth, the oceans, and everything in them, but on the seventh day I rested. That’s why I made the Sabbath a special day that belongs to me.

Comments on this scripture passage:

     The Bible is the Word of God. This passage records the writing on two stone tablets that Moses received from God on Mt. Sinai. This is literally the Word, coming from God in written form. (The rest of the Bible is a record of spoken word passed down from generation to generation and finally written down by human beings and compiled into what we call the Old and New Testaments.)

     The Old Testament records the Ten Commandments at least twice—once in Exodus and once in Deuteronomy. The Hammurabi Code (1750 BC), which predates the time of the Old Testament Ten Commandments (from maybe 1100-1200 BC), includes similar statements. Thus, we are dealing with teachings that are over 3000 years old, and are still considered supremely important and relevant in today’s world. They have stood the test of time.

     In this second week of daily devotionals we look at the first four Commandments, which deal with our relationship to God. During the past week you have been asked to answer the question: “Who is God?” These commandments help us define who God is, and they tell us what God expects us to do as we relate to Him. (Next week we will study the other six commandments, which speak to our relationships with other people.)


Exercise 1: Before we look at the Ten Commandments one by one, we should (more…)

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