God, Our Parent
At the Seasoned Saints Bible Study this morning we briefly talked about parenting and about the ways that God is our parent.
When I think about my parents, one of the things I remember is all the curfews and rules they established. They were always telling my sisters and I how to behave in public and giving us rules to obey and responsibilities around the house.
And a long, long time ago, God talked to a guy named Moses and gave him a similar list of rules called the Ten Commandments. Now, Christians will often thinking about these Ten Commandments as a list of ten rules that must be followed if we are going to make God happy. It’s similar to the ways that we all probably understood the rules our parents established when we were younger; “I’ve got to do my chores, otherwise Dad is going to be mad.”
But as we grow older we begin to see that our parents didn’t just establish rules randomly— the rules they set were meant to teach us responsibility and honesty and work ethic. The rules our parents established were helping to guide us towards maturity. A parent doesn’t make rules just because they can; they set rules so that we will mature; so that we will be safe; so that we can have a better life.
I think that’s what The Ten Commandments are about. The Commandments weren’t just made up as some sort of test by God to see if we would really listen and obey. The Commandments are a gift from God, they were given so that we might live our life in the best ways possible-- the way God intended for us to live.
Now that I am a father, I understand why my parents established all those rules for me growing up. They loved me and wanted to keep me safe, and they wanted to see me grow up into a mature adult who could take care of himself. And in the same way, God has given us the Ten Commandments, because God loves us and wants to provide us with guidelines that will help us live a more full and complete life.
“You will be blessed if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today.” Deuteronomy 11:27
God does not give us a reward when we follow the Commandments, rather, the Commandments themselves are the reward. The Commandments are a blessing from God that guide us into living our lives in the way God intend.
When we make God our first priority (First Commandment), and we honor and respect God’s name (Second Commandment), and we take time to rest (Third Commandment), and we Honor our parents (Fourth Commandment), and we refrain from murdering, committing adultery, stealing, lying, and coveting (Commandments 5-10), our lives are simply better.
May we discover the wisdom of God’s Commandments, and allow God to move us into fuller, more complete lives. Amen.