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|Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc.||A Hebrew-Christian Bible Fellowship|
|October - December (5770), 2009||Vol. 35 No. 10|
THE LAW: IT'S BEAUTY AND BENEFITS
(The Law is ... 'holy, just, and good')
Mrs. Ari D. Hidalgo, Th. B.
In honor of my Blessed Lord Jesus, Who is my light and salvation and the strength of my life (Psalm 27:1). All honor and glory is given unto His Holy Name.
In appreciation to my beloved husband, Dr. Elias E. Hidalgo, for all the help and encouragement, not only for this booklet, but for over 30 years, the volumes of spiritual understanding of Scripture that has been there for my gleaning. In thanksgiving to our Staff for the wonderful work done on the booklet: Rev. Nathan Knibb, our Associate Director, who printed and published the booklet. Rev. Jack Molloy, as our Web Master, his work on our Web Site, and the extraordinary art work on the cover that added the finishing touch.
In gratitude to our Associate Members and their faithful and prayerful support of our ministry, Shalom Scripture Studies, Inc. Thank you.
May this booklet be a source of inspiration and blessing to all who read it.
In Y'shua's (Jesus) Precious Name,
Mrs. Ari D. Hidalgo
'THE 10 COMMANDMENTS'
(Elohim Et Kol Hadevarim)
GOD SPAKE ALL THESE WORDS
(EXODUS 20:2) 'I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.'
The Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, The Creator of heaven and earth, after 400 hundred years of bondage in Egypt brought His people Israel out of Egypt and redeemed them unto Himself by a blood sacrifice, as recorded and called the first 'Passover' in the book of Exodus. When they, the nation and people of Israel arrived at Mt. Sinai, they consummated God's covenant relationship with them by their own consent as they said these words unto Moses in Exodus 19:8 'All that the Lord hath spoken we will do.' As a holy and chosen nation unto God, they not only were to be set apart for The Lord Himself, but also to be His light and witness to the heathen (Gentile) nations of the known world.
As such, they needed Godly direction, because they did come out of Egypt with a lot of baggage, such as Egypt's culture and way of life which included their many gods.
As a shepherd tends his flock, so also, Israel needed God's help and direction. We read in Exodus 20:1-17 that God begins to shepherd His people Israel in their new life and service with a good plan called 'The 10 Commandments.' (Aseret Hadiberot)
The 'beauty' of the commandments (the moral law) is that if they are obeyed, then blessings of complete peace and unity happens with God that is sure, and, not only with God, but also with each other. It is good and it is pleasant says The Lord, in Psalm 133:1, when there is obedience and unity.
It is a wonderful blessing to have in our very hands, 'The Written Word of God', and within the pages of Scripture, His Law which is also our schoolmaster for our learning, as it does give us Godly direction for our lives.
As with Israel, we, as believers in The Lord Jesus Christ, have a big responsibility, and that is, to walk worthy of our calling. One of the precious promises that The Lord has given unto us is that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Indeed, He has kept His promise, for we have His Holy Written Word and His Holy Spirit in our lives to guide us in our daily life. As the Psalmist reminds us in chapter 119:105... 'Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.' Thank you Lord for being our guiding light ...
The book of Exodus, chapter 20 and verses 1-11, begins with the first four commandments that deal with man's relationship and responsibility unto the Lord God. We begin in verse 3 with the first commandment.
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT
(EXODUS 20:3) 'Thou shalt have no other gods before me.'
The first commandment calls for Israel to cleave to The Lord God, 'The One and Only True God' of heaven and earth. The known world was enamored with polytheism including the nation of Egypt, therefore, for many generations, the Hebrew children were surrounded with many gods, four hundred years of foreign gods. In verse 3 God calls for all Israel to give Him, all the glory due to His Name, with all their heart to trust in Him, worship Him, and give Him adoration before His face and not another.
When the children of Israel would finally arrive and enter the land of their inheritance, they were not to succumb to temptation of the gods of the nations. This is one of the reasons that The Lord forbade the children of Israel to intermarry within other nations. It was to keep them from being tempted and separate from pollution.
We have an example in God's Word of what happened to Israel when a king disobeyed this commandment. It is a tragic story in the life of King Solomon and the people of Israel. After his reign as King over Israel, years later, terrible judgment fell upon Israel, both houses went into captivity because of Solomon's sin of allowing other gods to come in his life, through his many foreign wives and concubines. He had it all, wisdom, wealth, a royal position as king over Israel. He could have done Israel so much good, but, instead he brought her under a terrible curse of falling into the hands of the enemies and many lives were destroyed.
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT
(EXODUS 20:4-6) 'Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:'
'Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;'
'And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.'
These three verses deal with the involvement of idolatrous worship in the making of images, which is forbidden by God, and also making any TEMUNAH (likeness) of God, or any creature, in heaven above, in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. They were not to prostrate themselves before the idols in reverential trust, nor give them honor and nor serve it by offering sacrifices to it. Do not make or worship, any gods nor be involved with idolatrous worship.
Even some religions today have left off this commandment, taking away God's Word and adding it to their own liturgy and worship, which changes the truth of God into a lie ... God hates idolatry, and gives forth a warning to all, saying ... 'for I The Lord thy God am a jealous God' (El Kana) verse 5. Those who involve themselves in breaking this commandment, God looks upon them as hating Him, thus He deals with them as an enemy deserving of severe punishment, even visiting the iniquity of the fathers on their children to the fourth generation.
THE ALMIGHTY GOD
The Almighty God is long-suffering and desires that man would repent and turn from his wicked ways, and so He waits, and He waits. But, if a man's children, or his grandchildren are also idolaters and embrace the evil habits of the fathers, then, God will visit this sin of idolatry upon them, even after the fathers are passed on.
The children of Israel heard 'The Voice of God' in regards to this commandment. In Exodus, chapter 32 we read that Israel disobeyed this commandment big time. Remember the story when Moses was detained in the mount with God, and Israel got impatient and demanded from Aaron to make them gods that would go before them. Aaron was no match for the multitude of people, with much despair, he had the children of Israel take off the golden jewelry that they were wearing and into the furnace it went only for the purpose that a golden calf would be fashioned from it. They did make a golden calf to worship and sacrifice to it.
They provoked The LORD God to jealousy, therefore, He was so very angry and was ready to destroy all of them. God even was willing to start the Nation over with Moses, but Moses besought The LORD his God for Israel that He would not destroy them, as he reminded The Lord God ... of His promise that He had made with Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, (Abrahamic Covenant) ... 'As an advocate for Israel', Moses said 'what will the nations think ... they will accuse You (speaking unto God) wrongfully and say that You (God) brought Israel out to slay them, and consume them from the face of the earth ...' Moses cried out to God to turn from His fierce wrath against Israel. Although God hearkened to Moses and did repent of the evil that He thought to do to the children of Israel, Moses did carry out some of God's judgment on the people in the camp, for many lives were destroyed that day.
IT IS SAD
It is sad that many of the children usually follow the evil traditions, (habits) of the fathers, it is very sad, because God tells us that He will visit the iniquity, even till the fourth generation.
On the other hand, did you notice, that there is mercy in this commandment that is extended to the descendants who love God, they will experience chesed, (mercy from God).
Even with the house of Israel, we read of God's mercy being fulfilled towards their descendants who did love God. For their children from the age of 20 years old and under were spared from being destroyed in the wilderness and were allowed to enter the Promised Land.
These blessed ones did go into the land that was promised to their fathers, and did possess and enjoyed this wonderful land that floweth with milk and honey, (chalav ve devash). Eretz Y'srael, the land of their inheritance, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates, was given to Israel by God.
MERCY AND COMPASSION
The Lord will show mercy and compassion that will extend to thousands, which by the way, amounts to more than four generations. This gracious blessing is to all who love God and keep His commandments.
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT
(EXODUS 20:7) 'Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.'
THE LORD'S NAME
The LORD'S name is to be held sacred and therefore the third commandment forbids taking His name vainly. In Psalm 111:9 we read 'Holy and reverend is His Name.' His name must never be used needless, or irreverently. Even in our prayers we are taught to hallow His name ... for Y'shua, Jesus, as He taught His disciples to pray said ...'Hallowed be Thy name.' (Luke 11:1-2)
Another example of using the Lord's name in vain is, in Matthew 15:7-9, when Jesus calls the scribes and Pharisees saying, 'Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.'
Another way to break this commandment is if we make promises unto The Lord and do not keep them, the Scriptures tells us that we are taking His name in vain. In Matthew 5:33 we read... 'Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:'
God's name is not to be used carelessly, or as a swear word. God will not hold him guiltless who desecrates His name. In other words they are guilty and will receive their just rewards for their disobedience.
THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT
(EXODUS 20:8-11) 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.'
'Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work:'
'But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:'
'For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.'
THE SEVENTH DAY
This is not a new law, for God Himself sanctified the seventh day from the very beginning (Genesis 2:3). He rested from creating the world, and gave the seventh day as a day of rest for mankind.
At Mt. Sinai, we have the Sabbath Day reestablished through the giving of The Law unto Israel. It is a part of God's Covenant to the house of Israel.
There is no reason to be confused with what day the Sabbath is, for the counting of days began at Passover from Israel's going out of Egypt. This day was set apart unto The Lord, to be kept holy and a day of rest, involving no manner of work to be done.
THE WHOLE MISHPOCHAH
For whom is this commandment directed towards? It is first to the house of Israel, for, the whole mishpochah, (family) to observe, even servants, and strangers (Gentiles) were to keep the Sabbath. Notice, the cattle were to have a day of rest from their toil. God cares for the animals that He created, as He does for man, that they should not be over worked by anyone.
The Lord has blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it, hallowed it, totally made it KODESH, (Holy), and it is to be set aside from all of the other six days that we are to do AVODAH (work).
THE NEW COVENANT
In The New Covenant we read that our Lord Jesus Christ did not forbid anyone to do good in helping someone in need on the Sabbath day. We are giving glory and honor due unto God's name when we obey this commandment, and ZACHOR (remember) Shabbat and keep it holy.
The next six commandments deal with our relationship and responsibility with each other.
THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT
(EXODUS 20:12) 'Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.'
This is the first commandment 'with a promise', and that is a wonderful blessing of the extension of life. ... 'that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.' (verse 12b)
When we honor our parents we are honoring God, for they are made in His image, and there is a reward for obeying this commandment. On the other hand, disrespecting, shaming, or displaying anger unto our parents, has it's end result which is judgment from God. Submission to parents and their instructions, corrections are paramount before God in being blessed, but, there is a warning unto parents, and that is, not to provoke their children to anger.
Even, The Apostle Saul Paul quotes the fifth commandment in his address to the Ephesians, chapter 6:1-4.
'Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.'
'Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)'
'That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.'
'And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.'
THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT
(EXODUS 20:13) 'Thou shalt not kill.'
The Lord God Himself only has the authority and power to give life, and He is the only One Who can and has the right to take it. The Holy Scriptures gives us an example in the life of Cain when he killed his brother Abel in Genesis 4:11-14. That terrible day happened because of Cain's jealousy towards his brother Abel's offering. The result of Cain taking his brother's life was that God brought forth judgment on him by cursing all of Cain's days with a horrible curse.
AFTER THE FLOOD
After the flood, within the Noahic Covenant, the Lord said in Genesis 9:6 'Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.'
As The Lord gave 'The Sermon on the Mount' unto His disciples, He quoted the sixth commandment in Matthew 5:21. He, Y'shua, Jesus also takes a further step in verse 22 and says ...
'But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.'
The Lord compares anger with murder, and also whosoever calls his brother RACA (fool or wicked).
In another Scripture (Matthew 15:19, 20a) we read ...
'For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:'
'These are the things which defile a man:'
WHAT WE SAY AND THINK
The Lord Jesus Christ connects the hateful things that we think or say to murder. In other words, we can figuratively commit murder in our hearts by hating our brother. God desires for all of His children to love and respect each other, to live peaceably, and it starts in the heart. Life is precious and very sacred before The Lord, and to shed the blood of another by evil thoughts about a person, or the unkind words that we share, and especially the acting out of a vicious crime such as murder, there is heavy recompense from The Lord God.
THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT
(EXODUS 20:14) 'Thou shalt not commit adultery.'
This commandment forbids all acts of uncleanness, including sex outside of marriage. Adultery, is the sexual encounter between a married individual and someone other than his or her spouse. The Word of God tells us in times past, if the persons were caught in the act of adultery, severe punishment followed, as for both parties, they were put to death, by stoning. (Deuteronomy 22:22)
When The Lord, Y'shua was speaking to His disciples in the book of Matthew 5:28, He said that even to look and to lust after a woman in his heart is the same as committing adultery.
IN THE BEGINNING
In the beginning, we read in (Genesis 2:24) ...
'Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.'
The marriage union between husband and wife is sacred and their union together has made them one flesh.
Saul Paul writes of a marriage that is spirit filled, as being an example of Christ and the Church in (Ephesians 5:30-32).
'For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.'
'For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.'
'This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.'
Our relationships unto The Lord and each other are to be holy ... undefiled ... and it begins in the heart of man...
THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT
(EXODUS 20:15) 'Thou shalt not steal.'
The eighth commandment involves respecting the rights of others, including our neighbors personal properties. Taking that which is not ones own is referred to as stealing, even when we borrow from our neighbor and do not give it back or pay it back. Also, when we do not pay our debts, we are classified as a thief.
Although, The Lord God allowed the children of Israel to spoil the Egyptians in a way of reprisal, but, He did not encourage them to borrow just for the sake of borrowing, and especially, not to pay it back.
GIVE TO GOD
In The New Covenant, we are commanded to give to Caesar what is due to Caesar, and to give to God what is God's. Even holding back from the government our taxes, etc., is stealing. Also, holding back our tithes and offerings unto God, is called robbing God.
In the book of (Malachi 3:8-10) we read ...
'Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.'
'Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.'
'Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.'
'And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.'
THE NINTH COMMANDMENT
(EXODUS 20:16) 'Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.'
There are two types of false witnessing, public and private, both are harmful to the individual that it is being directed to. The Scriptures forbid falsely swearing against ones neighbor in the area of a civil matter, or in any court of law, and including any private affair. Speaking falsely in any matter, could destroy another person's reputation, and character.
The Bible tells us that sowing discord among the brethren is an abomination unto our Lord.
We read in (Proverbs 6:16-19),
'These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:'
'A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,'
'An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,'
'A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.'
A false report against anyone could cause much harm to that individual, even cause death upon them. We who know the Truth are not to be involved with false witnessing and all of these seven things that are listed in Proverbs 6, for God hates them and the seventh is an abomination unto Him. May we humbly speak that which is right, ... righteous witnesses, always abounding in truth.
THE TENTH COMMANDMENT
EXODUS 20:17 'Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.'
This commandment deals with the heart of man, and his innermost desires and intentions. In The Holy Scriptures, we read that ones heart is an open book unto The Lord, He sees the secret things that are in our hearts. He knows the heart of man, that it is desperately wicked. (Jeremiah 17:9)
OUR HEART CLEAN
The Lord has given us a means by which we can keep our heart clean. And, it is through a precious gift, that is, His Law, and with His Holy Spirit indwelling a believer it is most powerful and enough to convict our soul, and direct us in the right path.
But, we must not forget that submission unto The LORD God and His Word plays a big role in keeping our heart right before Him. It also helps us in our relationship with others, on a daily basis. Remember the beautiful promises from God in I John 1:9...
'If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.'
Also in John 15:3...
'Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.'
The Apostle Saul Paul, by the grace of God, said that his very conscience was made aware of this commandment.
As he writes to the Romans telling them (Romans 7:7) ...
'What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.'
(Also, in Romans 13:10) Saul Paul quotes ...
'Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.'
As believers we are told that the moment that we by faith open our heart to Y'shua, Jesus, He in turn gives us God's love ... which gives us eternal life and hope in this life.
(In the book of Romans 5:5)
'And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.'
By the way, God's love in action in our lives is the key for us in keeping all of these 10 commandments. As our Lord tells us in Mark 12 there are 'Two Commandments' that are very important, so much so, that if we keep these, all of the others will follow suit.
THE SHEMA (HEAR) (In the book of Mark 12:29-31)
'And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is One Lord:'
'And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.'
'And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.'
'There is none other commandment greater than these.'
The first 4 commandments deal with loving God with all of our heart, the last 6 with loving our neighbor as ourselves.
LOVE IS THE FULFILLMENT
Love is the fulfillment of The Law. As we love the LORD with all of our heart and love our neighbor as ourselves, like a certain Samaritan did in Luke 10:25-37, it is beautiful in the eyes of the LORD.
'And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?'
'He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?'
'And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.'
'And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.'
'But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?'
'And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.'
'And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.'
'And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.'
'But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,'
'And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.'
'And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.'
'Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?'
'And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.'
We have some of His wonderful benefits listed for us to enjoy in Psalm 103:1-5,
'Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.'
'Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:'
'Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;'
'Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;'
'Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.'
The Law: ... It's Beauty and Benefits ... 'it is holy, just, and good'.
THE LORD JESUS CHRIST IS OUR SALVATION.
Romans 10:9-11, 'That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.'
Also, He is the fulfillment of The Law as recorded in Matthew 5:17, 'Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.'
May The LORD our God bless us as we keep His Law which includes Aseret Hadiberot... (The Ten Commandments).
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