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Bible Commentaries
Deuteronomy 5

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-5

    1. The 10 commandments were given about 50 days after coming up out of Egypt. When encamped at Sinai.
      1. How were they given to Moses? Written (not oral) by the finger of God.
        1. The 10 commandments were written down & given to Moses to give to the people as he came down the mountain. The Sermon on the Mount was spoken by Jesus when he went up the mountain & was given to His disciples.
      2. What were they written on? 2 tables of stone.
      3. What happened to the first set? Moses broke after seeing the golden calf. Ex.32:19.
      4. Where did they end up? In the ark of the cov.
    2. (1) The solemn formula Hear, O Israel indicates that what follows (the decrees and laws) is not incidental but absolutely necessary for the survival of Israel as a nation.
    3. (6) The first commandment very appropriately begins with God.
      1. This is always the best place to begin. I am the Lord your God.
      2. It begins with a great assumption...the reality of God. It assumes that God is. It makes no effort to prove God. He simply affirms Him.
      3. The prophets never undertake to prove God; they proclaim Him.
    4. These 10 form the heart of God’s covenant.
      1. In compressed form they contain everything that God demands of His people.
      2. They also are a window into the character of God.
        1. God holds the right to command obedience.
        2. His people, on the other hand, learn how to live by listening to Him & doing (obeying) what He commands.
      3. By Jesus incorporating them into His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus upheld their validity for Christians. Except an official Sabbath, which we’ll discuss in vs.12-15.
    5. So the title, 10 words, reveals the commandments to be much more compelling than a mere divine order. As words of God, they issue from the every essence of His being.
      1. Creation also originated with the Words of God. Throughout biblical history, God continued to speak until He finally spoke through His own Son, The Word.
        1. The connection between the creation, Jesus, & the10 commandments - God’s word of instruction for life - cannot be broken. Mt.5:17 Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.
    6. Next week, we’ll see the commandments are divided into 2 sections.
      1. The first four speak of Israel’s relationship to God.
        1. Their overall theme is the worth & worship of God alone.
      2. The last 6 deal with interpersonal relationships.
        1. They establish the principle that all people are of inestimable/immeasurable value & as such have rights which must be protected.
      3. Because the first 2 form the basis for the rest, they receive extensive treatment in ch’s 6-12. The other 8 will followed in order in ch’s 13-25.

Verses 6-15

  1. Intro:
    1. Ted Turner, founder of the Cable News Network, told a convention of newspaper executives that the Ten Commandments are out of date. Instead, Turner suggested a set of “Ten Voluntary Initiatives to guide sensitive persons through the new age.”
    2. Good news about teenagers today? According to a poll by the Gallup Youth Survey, 4 out of 5 teenagers feel the 10 Commandments are valid. Worst news about teenagers today? The same survey also stated that only 3 out of 100 teenagers can name the 10 Commandments.
    3. The 10 commandments, the very words of God, provide all the necessary principles by which God’s people may live lives pleasing to Him.
      1. As Moses made them relevant for ancient Israel, Jesus did for the NT community.
    4. Remember we said the 2 tablets of stone were divided into 2 sections:
      1. 1st 4 - Relationship to God. 2nd 6 - Relationship to others. [take the 1st 4 tonight]
    5. Title: Worth & Worship of God Alone (Deut.5:6-15)
      1. The first 2 commandments form the basis for the rest.(they receive extensive treatment in ch’s 6-12)
        1. The rest follow in order from ch.’s 13-25.
  2. [1] NO OTHER GODS (6,7)
    1. Vs.6 is crucial for understanding not only the 1st commandment but also the other 9.
      1. The Ten Commandments were given to a people already redeemed (brought out… of Egypt), to enable them to express their love for & have fellowship with the holy God.
        1. In Deut Egypt is frequently called the land of slavery (house of bondage).[6:6,12; 7:8; 8:14; 13:5, 10; cf. Ex. 13:3, 14; 20:2]
      2. The Decalogue was never given to enable them to achieve justification, for that has always been granted freely through faith (Gen.15:6; Rom. 4).
    2. Since the Lord had taken the initiative in Israel’s redemption the people were obligated to acknowledge His right of sovereignty over them and to bow to that sovereignty.
    3. To have no other gods before Me, called for a submission of every area of one’s life to the rule of God.
      1. ​​​​​​​The phrase other gods is a technical term for pagan gods which of course existed in the form of idols and in the minds of their worshipers, but were not real.
    4. What other gods could we have besides the Lord? Plenty. (Your Father Loves You by James Packer, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986, page for April 17)
      1. For Israel there were the Canaanite Baals, those jolly nature gods whose worship was a rampage of gluttony, drunkenness, and ritual prostitution.
      2. For us there are still the great gods Sex, Shekels, and Stomach (an unholy trinity constituting one god: self). And the other enslaving trio, Pleasure, Possessions, and Position, whose worship is described as “The lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life” (1Jn2:16).
        1. Indeed the list of other gods is endless, for anything that anyone allows to run his life becomes his god and the claimants for this prerogative are legion. J.I.Packer
  3. [2] NO CARVED IMAGES (8-10)
    1. ​​​​​​​Frankly, I’m not tempted to make images of God.
      1. But to say that, I’m looking at its outer surface instead of its inner meaning.
      2. But lets talk about how men got to making images of their gods.
        1. They weren’t trying to degrade nor destroy religion.
        2. Primitive man naturally found it hard to realize a god or gods that he could not see.
          1. You can imagine him praying off into space to an ear of mere nothingness.
          2. He made an image therefore, to assist his sluggish imagination.
          3. He was trying to bring a sense of reality into his worship.
        3. Of course this wasn’t only felt by primitive man alone, people have made use of the visible in order to make more real the invisible all through the centuries.
          1. I grew up doing this as a Catholic. I’ll even argue I wasn’t worshipping our statues but only venerating them (having great respect for)ok weird to kiss them if they fell
            1. ​​​​​​​Ash Wednesday is today - derives its name from the practice of placing ashes on the forehead as a celebration and reminder of human mortality, and as a sign of mourning and repentance to God.
          2. Illustration of an icon from island of Patmos.
          3. Frank Boreham tells of a certain lovely saint who had the habit of setting a vacant chair before him every time he prayed. This man explained his reason, he told the following story: years before he had complained to his pastor that he found great difficulty in realizing that God was present and listening. Therefore his pastor told him to set a chair before him, and to imagine that is Lord was sitting in it, as he surely would be. He found the practice so helpful that he kept it up through the years.One night he slipped away while others slept. But in the morning, when they found his cold hand resting upon the chair that he had set for his Master, they knew that he had not died alone.
    2. Problem: The images that these ancient people made in order to help them worship were, perhaps, of real assistance for a time. But in the end, they became a hindrance & a snare.
      1. How? little by little worshippers came so to fix their gaze upon the image that they forgot the one that was imaged.
      2. They became so absorbed in the means that hey forgot the end, So concerned in the picture that they lost sight of the reality. So intent upon that help that would help them realize God that they lost God altogether.
    3. So, don’t take your eyes off the goal, and don’t confuse the means with the end. This becomes the abiding principle 10,000 years from today as it is at the present moment.
      1. The bible can become this. Is the bible the means or an end?
        1. Jesus said, You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. Jn.5:39
        2. Use the bible like you would a telescope. It’s a wonderful instrument that can bring far things near.
          1. But some make a toy of it. Some open the case to look at it, then put it back. But its not to look at but to look...through!
    4. The second commandment did not prohibit art in Israel (as the making of the tabernacle demonstrates), but rather the making of an idol to represent the Lord.
    5. The danger in this practice was twofold:
      1. First, since other nations used idolatry to express their devotion to their gods there was always the danger that the worship of the Lord could be contaminated by idolatrous forms of worship.
      2. Second, any attempt to represent God in any form from the natural world would have called into question the sovereignty of the One who cannot be limited by anything.
    6. As a jealous God (4:24; 6:15; 32:16, 21) He does not share His sovereign position with any other.
      1. Simply remember, worship is always to be spiritual not material.
    7. (5:9b) At first glance 5:9b may seem to contradict Ezekiel 18:20.
      1. However, the phrase those who hate Me must certainly refer to the children, not to the fathers.
        1. Children who hate the Lord will be punished.
      2. Rebellious God-hating parents often produce children to the 3rd & 4th generation who also hate God. But if sin is contagious so is goodness. :)
  4. [3] DON’T MISUSE GOD’S NAME (11)
    1. ​​​​​​​To misuse God’s name means literally, “to lift it up to or attach it to emptiness.”
      1. ​​​​​​​This command forbids using God’s name in profanity but it includes more.
        1. Latin, Pro(before)/fanum(the temple) before the temple or outside the temple.
          1. ​​​​​​​It’s allowing your mouth, which Jesus said was directly connected to your heart, to become a common place rather than a holy place.
          2. That’s why instead our mouths should speak, Hallowed be your name.
            1. Reverence is the doorway into the audience chamber of the king. And that door is fast shut in the face of the profane.
        2. But this prohibition is much more than using profanity, but lying.
      2. This is a directive against using God’s name in a manipulative way
        1. Lying - calling God to witness to the truthfulness of what the person said. Yet, in spite of doing so, the person goes on w/their lying.
          1. We’re not to use Gods name falsely/insincerely by calling Him to witness to a lie. This was necessary because men are given to lying.
          2. To swear to God, so as to make people believe you, while lying, is lying under oath.
      3. Today a Christian who uses God’s name flippantly or falsely attributes a wrong act to God...has broken this commandment.
  5. [4] SABBATH DAY (12-15)
    1. ​​​​​​​The Sabbath Day was a gift of God to Israel.
    2. According to Ex.20:11, Israel was to observe a day of rest each week so she could commemorate God’s Creation of the world in six days & His rest on the 7th day.
    3. Thus Israel’s observance of the Sabbath was a testimony to her belief in the personal, transcendent God who created the world.
      1. This belief was a doctrine unique to the ancient Near East.
    4. In Deut the reason for observing the Sabbath is not the Creation of the world, but the redemption of Israel from Egypt, which in effect was the creation of Israel as a nation.
      1. So by observing the Sabbath before her pagan neighbors Israel was expressing her faith in the personal God who created both the world and her as a nation.
    5. This is the only one of the Ten Commandments not repeated in the NT, and Paul argued against enforcing it (Rom.14:5-6; Col. 2:16-17).
    6. The day of worship was changed in the early church to the first day of the week, in commemoration of Christ’s resurrection.
    7. The temporary nature of the command regarding the Sabbath is due to the fact that it served as a sign of the Mosaic Covenant (Ex. 31:12-17).
    8. After the Mosaic Covenant was done away with there was no longer a need for its sign. In its place Christians have the Lord’s Supper as the sign of the New Cov.

Verses 16-19

  1. Intro:
    1. Slide#3 Title: Interpersonal Relationships
    1. Here Moses repeats the Ten Commandments, the basis for God’s Moral Law.
      1. The rest of Deuteronomy is actually an amplification & application of these commandments.
      1. Israel was to hear, learn, keep, and do these laws (1).
      1. For in obeying the Law they would be honoring God and opening the way for victory and blessing.
    1. Why did God give this law?
      1. To reveal sin.
        1. Rom. 3:20 NLT For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.
      1. To prepare the nation for the coming of Christ. - Gal.3:19-24 (read) [yellow tab]
      1. To make them a separated nation on the earth. - We read in Deut.4:5-8.
    1. We are going to grab #5-#8 commandments tonight.
    1. Listen for each of these commandments establishing the principle that all people are of inestimable/immeasurable value & as such have rights which must be protected.
  1. Slide#4 #5 HONOR FATHER & MOTHER (16)
    1. For some this came/comes easy...for others very difficult.
      1. Some will look for the fine print or footnotes.
      1. No exception clause for those who have had horrific parents.
    1. To honor one’s parents means to value or prize them highly.
      1. Children living at home express this by obeying their parents.
    1. This commandment was critical for the existence of the nation:
      1. that you (pl.) may live long (cf. 6:2; 11:9; 25:15; 32:47) and
      1. that it may go well with you (pl.) in the land.


      1. Parents, especially fathers, rather than the religious leaders, were to pass the covenant values to their children.
  1. Honor - on obedience when younger, honor as their older.
    1. Honor means to attach weight to; to put in the place of superiority; to hold in high opinion; to reverence.
  1. Results: days long & well in the land. [life, longer & better]
    1. Speaking of nationally not nec individually. A philosophy not a personal reward.
    1. That this sacredness of the family ideal be maintained.
      1. Example in Israel: every Fri night (start of shabbot) home with family’s. (even secular Jews)
      1. Slide#5 And this literally in recent history did change/keep their land. Yom Kippur War Oct 1973. A coalition of Arab states led by Egypt & Syria against Israel as a way of recapturing part of the territories which they lost to the Israelis back in the 6-Day War. The war began with a surprise joint attack by Egypt and Syria on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur...but 1 phone call to a house reached the whole family of soldiers, both enlisted & retired)
  1. Slide#6 Parents to be honored...be honorable.
    1. You’re a child for a little while but someones child forever.
      1. When you’re younger you need to obey your parents; When you’re older you need to still honor your parents.
      1. Now that we’re older we don’t have to obey them, but we are till honor them.
  1. How do we honor dishonorable parents?
    1. Some of you have legit hurts.
    1. Others though have unreasonable expectations.
    1. How do you deal with a dishonorable parent?
      1. Prov.19:11 And his glory is to overlook a transgression.
      1. Remember your parents are fallen sinners. [cut some slack]
      1. Salute the uniform - may not respect the one in the uniform, but must honor the uniform.
        1. At least honor motherhood & fatherhood.

IV. Slide#7 #6 YOU SHALL NOT MURDER (17) Reverence Human Life

  1. Murder means to take someone’s life illegally.
    1. Since man was created by God and in His image, man should not take another human’s life apart from divine permission.
      1. So, the bible doesn’t say you shall not kill. (eg. KJV)
    1. This commandment, therefore, did not prohibit capital punishment or engaging in war, both of which were regulated by laws in the Torah.


      1. I would add to that list a police officer, a judge handing out a sentence, self defense.
      1. Slide#8 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, & the authorities that exist are appointed by God...for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.1
  1. Why is murder wrong?
    1. Not situational ethics. [that there’s flexibility in the application of moral laws, according to circumstances]
    1. But we understand life through the 10 commandments that law is God-centric. Laws and truth are external. God is the author of life. God is sovereign man.
    1. Gen.9:6 Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.
      1. We’re below God & above animals.
      1. Slide#9 Not like animal rights activist & president of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) Ingrid Newkirk said in 1985, “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. They're all mammals.”
      1. No Ingrid, we are different. We are made in the image of God. We shouldn’t mistreat animals, but if your house is burning down & you can’t grab both the kid & the dog, the kid is more important. (on most days...Ha!)
  1. Slide#10blank What Is Meant By Murder? (Mt.5:21-26)
  1. Murder is the 1st of 5 illustrations Jesus uses to show proper Interpretation of the law.
    1. The false interp. was, that if your hands weren’t Red w/Blood than you were alright.
    1. Jesus arrests a man before he commits murder. [If your never Angry, you’ll never Murder]
    1. So the Problem was their limited Interp. of murder.
  1. Jesus shows 3 degrees of anger.
    1. Murders root & fruit (eg. beg. & ending) are Anger.
  1. Slide11 3 degrees of Anger:
    1. Anger - as a non-verbal concealed emotion [yet it’s not really concealed, w/God it’s a heart Revealed]
    1. Raca - is anger as a verbal outburst. Now it’s directed to the person.
      1. Raca = fool, empty headed. Not Latin or Greek. hard to interp (It’s Aramaic).
      1. Chrysostom & Augustine say the word means nothing, but rather express “the emotion of an angry mind”. [A word that can’t be translated into another language like: Aahh! Tsss! Tsic(tongue on teeth sound) So, the writer puts down the word itself]
    1. You Fool - Anger as an outburst, but now with intent.



4a) Like:“Your a fool; Your a real Jerk; I wish you were dead; Lets’ get a Divorce then; I wish we never even had you; I wish you weren’t my parents.

        1. Raca deals w/contempt for a mans head - “You Stupid”!

Fool expresses contempt for his heart & character, “You Scoundrel”!

  1. Slide12 #7 YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY (18) Keep Clean
    1. The marriage relationship should reflect a believer’s relationship to God.
      1. Therefore extramarital sex (adultery) was forbidden.
      1. An Israelite who would be unfaithful to his or her partner would also be unfaithful to the covenant of God and would be inclined to go after other gods.
    1. Why is it wrong/forbidden?
      1. It’s wrong because it is hurtful to humans.
      1. Its not wrong because a dusty old code forbids it or by Puritanical preachers condemning it.
      2. If Adultery is good/right/brings happiness, then all our condemnation will not make it wrong.
        1. Meaning, if a bottle contains pure milk, even to label it poison does not change it from milk into poison...just because we call it poison.
      1. If Adultery is wrong, then all our defense for it will not make it otherwise.
        1. We can’t make it right by calling it love. We can no more do this than we can cover up filth with snow & thereby make it pure.
      1. Slide13a We cannot cheat without hurting/grieving the God we love.
        1. Plus, its an affront via the bride/groom relationship w/us & Him.
      1. Slide13b We cannot cheat without hurting someone else.
      1. Slide13c We cannot cheat without hurting ourselves.
        1. 1 Cor.6:18-20 NLT Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
      1. Slide13d We cannot cheat without hurting our children. (no matter what age)
      1. Slide13e We cannot cheat without the destruction of our society. [break down of family, morals, ethics, perversion, disease, etc.]
        1. No 1 person has the right to take a course that, if taken by all, would mean the wrecking of our individual & national life.
      1. A story is told about a man walking through South Africa & seeing some boys playing a game of marbles noticed these marbles flashed & sparkled in the sunlight.


Upon investigation, he found, these boys were playing marbles with diamonds. Thus the South African diamond minds were discovered. Now diamonds may make good marbles, but they are made for something better.

  1. You were made for something better. 1 man, 1 women for life and what God has designed to be an incredible intimacy that only gets better & better as you grow old together.

VI. Slide14 #8 YOU SHALL NOT STEAL (19) Respect the rights of others

  1. Some Bible scholars think that this 8th commandment (against stealing) refers primarily to kidnapping.
    1. cf. Deut.24:27 If a man is found kidnapping any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and mistreats him or sells him, then that kidnapper shall die; and you shall put away the evil from among you.
    1. It is probably more accurate, however, to view the command as a general prohibition against stealing, which would include kidnapping.
  1. People steal for so many reasons:
    1. Some to attain something that they are eager to possess.
    1. Some to get something for nothing.
    1. Some for the thrill. (I stole as a child for the thrill of getting away with it)
  1. Clovis Chappell said, It seems to be the strange mixture of moral stupidity & rascality!
  1. Slide15 What can be stolen? ask
    1. Material things of course. Popular today, identity theft. Someone’s virginity.

Someone’s innocence(eg. child in HT). Someone’s childhood (eg. child slavery). Someone’s reputation. Someone’s good name(indiv or business).

    1. Then there’s the passive side of stealing: The man who borrows $ w/o the expectation of paying it back is a thief. I think a few did this in our last economic downturn.
    1. What about Jesus’ story of the man who fell among thieves. We normally only see the first set of thieves. The one’s who were the aggressive material thieves. But what about the second set of religious thieves? The Priest & Levite who stole, not his last bits of garments, but simply crossed on the other side & left him to die. Wasn’t that potential...help stealing, common curtesy stealing, life stealing, love stealing?
  1. Why is it wrong?
    1. Obviously it brings hurts the one we stole from.
    1. But the greatest injury is to the thief himself. Yes, it cheats the cheater.
      1. It makes the one who practices it a parasite.
    1. Slide16 Sin is always a failure but it never fails so disastrously as when it succeeds Clovis Chappell

Verses 20-33

  1. Intro:
    1. Title: Don’t Lie - Don’t Covet - Fear God
    2. Outline: #9 You Shall Not Bear False Witness; #10 You Shall Not Covet Your Neighbors anything; Fear God.
    3. How is #10 different from the other commandments? What were the 3 main changes from the 1st giving of the law to here? Did God change?
  2. #NINE - DON’T LIE (20)
    1. Note also, the 6th through 9th commandments thus acknowledge a person’s right to his life, home, property, and reputation.
      1. Rom.13:10 Love does no harm to a neighbor.
    2. Prov.25:18 A man who bears false witness against his neighbor Is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow.
      1. Lying can wound a person’s character and even destroy his life as effectively as weapons. It’s a murder of their reputation.
    3. Prov.6:16-19 There are six things the Lord hates - no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.
    4. What are ways we bear False?
      1. We can bear false witness by giving false evidence in a court of law.
        1. The primary purpose of a law court is to guarantee justice. To do so the judge & jury need to know the facts.
        2. 2 ways to break this law: to say anything that is untrue or not saying all that is true.
          1. Marriage counseling: “He restrained me”. Did you? “yes, but she was coming at me with a knife.” Did you? “Yes but...”
        3. Though this commandment had its primary application in law courts, it also seems to rule out gossip against one’s neighbor.
      2. We can also bear false witness outside of law courts.
        1. We are always bearing witness for or against our neighbor.
        2. Like the man who told untruths about a Rabbi. Later convicted of it, went to the Rabbi & said he would do anything to gain his forgiveness. The Rabbi said ok, go take your feather pillow, & scatter it in the wind. He did that & returned, is that all? Now go collect every feather. That’s impossible!..Exactly.
      3. We can also bear false witness w/o making any positive statement at all.
        1. By merely asking questions: Like Satan in Job, he doesn’t flat out say Job is a hypocrite or a crook, but instead asks, “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Sure Job’s a good man on the surface but deep inside?
          1. “Hey, is your wife faithful”, infers what?
          2. “Does so-n-so pay his bills”, infers what?
      4. We can also bear false witness by not saying anything.
        1. If you hear a lie told about someone & remain as dumb as an oyster(silent) in the conversation we are guilty of violating this rule.
      5. We can also bear false witness by flattery.
        1. Remember what they say about flattery...it’s like perfume, smell it don’t drink it.
    1. ​​​​​​​3 modifications of the 10 Commandments are found noted:
      1. (15) The reason for keeping the sabbath was changed from God’s 7th-day rest to the Exodus event. [i.e. Sabbath was for Israel redeemed from Egypt, we never were]
      2. (21) Priority was given to your neighbor's wife above his other possessions.
        1. Some think this marked progress in the status of women. It may, however, have been a warning against following the low sexual standards of the Canaanites.
      3. (21) The addition of his field was necessitated by the change from a nomadic to an agricultural life-style.
        1. Did God change? No Israel did.
    2. First, not all coveting is bad:
      1. You can covet to work; covet to love others; Earnestly desire(covet) the best gifts.
      2. To desire or covet isn’t always bad. Our goal is not to become Christian Buddhist. [whose goal is the cessation of all desire] (as the deer pants for the water, so my soul longest after You)
    3. To covet means “to lust for, or crave.” It forbids a desire towards anything we have no right to.
      1. This was different from the other commandments in that it did not deal with a specific act, but rather with an emotional, psychological sin.
        1. This is why #10 is so different.
      2. Therefore the breaking of this commandment couldn’t be prosecuted in a law court.
        1. Yet “lust for another’s property” often led to the breaking of the 6th-9th commandments.
      3. This was the point Jesus was making in His exposition of commandments 6 & 7 (Matt. 5:21–32; deals with murder/anger - adultery/lust after; stealing/cut off rt hand)
      4. It may have been possible for someone to keep the first 9 commandments but no one could have avoided breaking the 10th at some time.
        1. In this respect the 10th commandment is the most forceful of all, because it made people aware of their inability to keep God’s Law perfectly.
        2. And this awareness threw them back to depend on God’s grace and mercy.
    4. Whats the harm of covetousness?
      1. Covetousness kills contentment.
        1. Because it fixes our gaze on what we don’t have rather than upon what we do.
        2. It the picture of the man feeding hogs. He dumps a 100 ears of corn onto the ground. One hog grabs one ear & takes off up a hill to protect it, yet there are plenty for the handful of hogs. Worse yet, one takes off after him trying to get it from him.
          1. Don’t be a human hog.
          2. It’s the story of king Ahab pouting over not having his next door neighbors property (Naboth). Jezebel framed him, had him killed.
          3. It’s the story of Haman who had some pretty fine qualities. He was strong, smart. A foreigner who worked his way up to #2 in the Persian Empire. Everybody looked up to him. Everybody bowed down to him...except 1 man.This so enraged him that he couldn’t see the 1000’s that did but only the one that didn’t. It made him so miserable that he got himself hung over it.
      2. Covetousness leads to wrong doing.
        1. Its a fountain from which flows many poisonous streams. Covetousness can lead to lying, lead to bearing false witness, lead to adultery, stealing.
      3. Covetousness is a deadly thing even if it doesn’t lead to outside sin.
        1. Remember the guy who was tired of hearing Jesus share a great sermon on the Holy Spirit & must have been thinking, “why wont he speak to things that really count” & finally couldn’t take it any longer & blurts out, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me...And He said to him, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
    5. How do we conquer this deadly foe?
      1. Refuse to fix your attention on the forbidden.
        1. Refuse to look longingly on what you can’t have. That can range from a donut to a member of the opposite sex.
        2. How do we do this? It’s not just closing our eyes. We can forget the forbidden by looking at that which is first legitimate. Re-focus from the forbidden to the permitted.
      2. Be set right within.
        1. It’s the way of conversation. It’s the way of new birth. It’s the way of personal surrender.
    6. (22) This verse emphasizes the divine origin of the 10 Commandments and the awe-inspiring setting in which they were given. (i.e. fire, cloud, deep darkness, a loud voice)
  4. FEARING GOD (23-33)
    1. ​​​​​​​He recalled the reactions of the people to the awesome manifestations of God that accompanied the giving of the law (23-27).
    2. Fire is, throughout the Bible, a symbol of the divine presence. (23,23,24,25,26)
    3. (25-27) They beg Moses to mediate between themselves & God.
      1. “Moses you approach the mountain in our place.”
      2. The type of fear (terror) that the Israelites experienced was not the type of fear (reverence) which God expected.
      3. Israel recognized that a great gulf lay between themselves & God.
        1. There was a dire need for an intermediary to bridge that gap.
        2. That intermediary was Moses, who willingly mediated God’s covenant to Israel.
      4. Moses foreshadowed Jesus, who freely mediated God’s new covenant to all who believe.
    4. The people’s acceptance of the cov was indicated by their statement, we will hear it & do it (27)
    5. God, in turn, promised blessings for obedience (28-33).
      1. Though the Lord approved of the people’s response, He hinted that they would not carry through with their good intentions. But the past conduct of the Israelites tipped God off as to their ability to fulfill their part of the covenant, so God says, O that there were such a heart in them (29).
    6. Verse 29 makes it clear that the Law must be in the heart, or there can be no true obedience.
      1. 2 Cor. 3 teaches that the NT believer has the Law written in his heart by the Spirit of God; and Rom. 8:1-4 explains that we obey the Law by the power of the Spirit.
    7. (31) The specific commandments/decrees, statutes, & judgements/ordinances Moses was to share with them form the bulk/rest of Deut.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 5". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/deuteronomy-5.html. 2017.
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