The Lawgiver
Exodus 20:1-2
And God spoke all these words, saying,…

1. Let us recognize that this Law has its source in God. It comes to us from His will whose authority is beyond question, and our obligation to obey is complete. Since "God spake all these words," we find in them the law of our being. The conscience hears His voice, acknowledges His rightful authority, and bows before Him.

2. There is great need of the "I ought" power being developed in our nature so that it controls our lives; a need at least as great in this age and in this country as it was in that early age and in the wilderness of Sinai. To be swayed not by impulse, nor by intense desire, nor by aroused wilfulness, but by a sense of obligation to God, insures a manhood which is a success in itself. What better start in life can the young have than a firm determination to obey God? Can there be a better guide in life, in the perplexities of society, of business or of politics, than this same principle of obedience to God?

3. While this law coming from God binds the conscience, it at the same time secures true liberty of conscience. Nothing can bind the conscience beyond or contrary to this law. It is the comprehensive and only law of the conscience.

4. This law coming from God repels many of the assaults of infidelity upon the Bible. Infidelity finds it impossible to account for the existence of this law in the Bible. Besides, infidelity is forced to honour the moral law in making it its standard of criticism. Much of its fault-finding of lives and measures is an unintended tribute to the law of God.

5. The fact that this law comes from God, carries with it another lesson and one of the utmost importance to us. His authority runs through all the divisions of the law.

(1) Both tables must be fully observed, or the whole law is broken. We cannot be devoted to God, correct in matters of faith and zealous in His worship, while we neglect charity of feeling, word and act toward our brother. Neither can we truly love our neighbour while we neglect God, for we cannot keep any part of the law without supreme reverence for Him who commands. Neither can we truly love our neighbour with recognizing that we are both and equally creatures of God.

(2) There is a tendency also to separate the commandments, and to claim virtue for keeping some while we make light of breaking others. Now, the violation of one precept is not an actual violation of another, but it is the breaking of the whole law in that it sets aside the authority of God. If he keeps other commandments, it must be from other considerations. By breaking one commandment he shows he has the spirit of breaking them all, for he does not submit to the authority of God.

(F. S. Schenck.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And God spake all these words, saying,

WEB: God spoke all these words, saying,

The Law Given from Mount Sinai Suited to the Circumstances of Man
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