04 January 2011

Ten Commandments thoughts

First, grammatically, of course, they are not commandments; they are imperfect indicatives [well, qals, but same point].  They describe what will be.  That does not stop them from condemning us when we hear them, for - of course - we are not what we will be when He's done with us.  The more time we spend with them, the more we realize how far our lives are from the perfect love they outline.  And even more, the more we grow in sanctification, the BIGGER the contrast to their description of perfect love and our experience of our own lives grows, for we come to see our lives as they really are when held up against that vision - it is a mark of the unsanctified that they think they're doing pretty peachy with them.

Second, the three times the Hebrew text speaks of the "ten commandments," it would be better rendered, it seems to me, the "ten words" (d'barim - MT; rhmata, LXX).  Ought they not be heard in Christ as the promises of what God intends to accomplish in us when He has taken us as His people - a picture of what our lives will finally look like?

Third, that Moses is instructed to put the ten words into the ark (Deut. 10), suggests that the fulfillment of the ten words, how they will come to realization, will only be through His work in the incarnate Lord, who is like unto the ark of the living God, tabernacling among us (John 1:14).  It is only through union with Christ that the "ten words," which are God's plan and purpose for our lives, come to their true fulfillment.  The words are hidden within the Ark - the will of God for our lives to be wholly love is similarly hidden within His Son, who is the perfect embodiment of the will of God for the race of men and to whom the commandments are never condemnatory for His heart and His life are wholly congruent with them - love enfleshed - to love His Father with His all, to love His neighbor as Himself - you and me - that is the very ache, joy, and content of His being.  He perfectly lives them and so He is our perfect righteousness given to us; and He will bring about the perfect fulfillment of them which He begins to work within us in this life and brings to consummation at the Day of His appearing (accomplishing what Jeremiah foretold in his 31st chapter - that the Torah would be written on our hearts - that is, that it would be our DESIRE to fulfill it).


Anonymous said...

The only valid motivation for the
baptized Christian to keep the 10
Commandments is LOVE FOR GOD.
Out of gratitude and thanksgiving for
His gift of salvation we attempt with
the power of the Holy Spirit to obey
the 10 Commandments. At times we
fall and must repent. Then we stand
up and start over again with the
power of Word and Sacrament to
strengthen us.

Larry Luder said...

I see the 10 commandments as our father’s love for us.