OK, so you may have heard about these things called the 10 Commandments, maybe you haven't. They were given by God to a man called Moses who was the leader of the people we know as Israel. This happened back in the day, a long time ago. The 10 Commandments were written by God on stone tablets and were 10 principles that God gave to his people to help them live their lives.
Now, you may have heard of the 10 Commandments and think, 'these rules are for losers and religious folks not for me.' But that’s not true and here’s why…
The 10 Commandments will give you a healthy life
I promise this is true. You may not believe me, you may think that is mad, you may not know what I'm on about so let me explain.. Let's start off by watching a movie clip from the film, "Prince of Egypt".
Prince Of Egypt Video Clip
The clip is right near the end of the movie and is quite sudden (not sure of the chapter or exact timing).
The clip shows Moses coming up to the top of a hill holding the 10 Commandments. If you have a better clip then slot it in there - or a photo.. just to give them some idea of the scene really.
Quote from a famous man called GK Chesterton
“When you break the big laws you do not get freedom. You do not even get anarchy. You get small laws.” (Daily News, July 29, 1905).
What he meant was that if we get rid of big important laws (like the 10 Commandments), we end up having to have tens of thousands of small laws to deal with people's bad and evil behaviour. As of 2012, just the US Federal Code apparently had 160,000 pages of law alone. (Quoted here). There are over 20,000 laws regulating guns alone (quoted here). So we see that GK Chesterton was right.
According to one constitutional expert in the USA called David Barton, the cost of the amount of law there is in the USA is equivalent to reducing everyone's salary by one quarter (quoted here).
Moses had been given what some people call 10 rules to live their life by. Was this given by some distant God, some God who sat on a cloud up in the heavens, a God who didn't care about folks, a vindictive God? Was it really given by God anyways?
Let's Look At These 10 Commandments
For this, use the 10 Commandments and read them out from projector (see attached files)
Adobe PDF file - http://www.myfishbites.com/pdfs/10commandments.pdf
1. No other gods, only me, the Lord God
Christians believe that the God of the Bible is the true God. They believe that his son Jesus came to earth as man, died on a cross and then rose again, to give all people the opportunity to have true life in this life and eternal life. This is no fake, no crutch, not arrogance or people being fooled. This is a life changing experience.
2. No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything
This relates to the top one and it sounds kind of weird. But here's how this helps you. Society will tell you that to be happy, you need to look good, buy the best clothes, have the latest TV, the latest smartphone, app or device, speak in the right language, have sex, do what you want, get drunk, sdo some kind of drugs etc.
Whatever you love doing and do, becomes your god. So if you drink every weekend to help lessen the pain in your life, that becomes your god. If you have to rock the latest gear, that becomes your god. It controls you. It drives you. But these things can be obsessive, can cause serious damage to your health and finances and won't guarantee happiness.
3. Don’t go using the name of GOD in cusses, curses or silly banter
The only God many people know is the word 'god' that spills from their mouth. But the Bible warns that this is unhelpful. Apart from sounding pretty dumb it's not something that God is down with. More than that, it can offend people. More than that, just messing with words can cause lies, gossip and harm. 'Did you hear, Jo's been sleeping with Paul, the slag..' Did you stop to find out if this is true? Think about the harm and hurt it can cause. The Bible says if you speak words of truth, that help, that are kind, you will increase respect for you and help people.
4. Keep the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Work six days only
There's a new condition they've found out about in Japan called 'Karoshi' (click here for more info on Wikipedia). This means 'death by overwork' and it was estimated in 1990 that 10,000 Japanese were dying from this each year. God wasn't stupid. He knew that us people are fragile and we need time out. This is why holidays, retreats, second homes, escaping to the countryside have become so big. But God already provided the solution 1000s of years back, he said, take time out to chill once a week, it will increase your health, it may even save your life.
5. Honour your father and mother so that you’ll live a long time in the land that GOD is giving you.
This may be hard for you. You may have really bad parents, maybe they left you and walked out on you. Let me tell you straight up that God is the perfect Father, even if that's not what you've experienced. He loves you more than my words can explain. But this is also talking about authority, whoever looks after you, teachers at school when they do your head in. God said that this will give you an easy life and will help you. Who gets grief in class? Those who mess and cuss or those who get on despite maybe not liking it? Easy huh?
6. No murder.
Not only do you take someone's life, you cause massive distress for the family, relatives and friends. Some of you may have experienced this and you know the pain. Killing someone in an act of violence never made anyone happy, never solved anything, never benefited anyone. You'll also end up in prison. They may be other results too. There was a couple from Nottingham who moved away after their son killed someone. A few weeks later they were killed by 2 hitmen. It also costs loads to deal with.
7. No adultery.
Too many of you have suffered from this one. People get married, get together but then their emotions run away with them and they start seeing someone else, maybe that other person is married too. I cannot explain how damaging this has been to society, to many kids, teenagers and older people. It has ruined lives, caused loads of damage and broken apart families and communities. It causes untold pain and suffering. I probably don't need to tell you this.
8. No stealing.
OK so you rob something from Tesco. It's OK right, they're a big company? Well here's the lowdown, the British Retail Industry loses £2billion in crime losses each year - almost £500 million was spent by retailers on security. Guess who has to pay for that? Yeah, you, in increased prices. So if you defraud the tax system or the VAT system, guess who pays? You do, your taxes increase. No-one wins through stealing. You may gain money but there will be more police, more security cards, identity cards, more CCTV, more forms, more checks. That is in addition to being banged up in prison or facing court. The cost of stealing is massive. And you will pay.
9. No lies about your neighbour.
We talked about spreading rumours about people earlier on. I've worked as a youth worker in many schools and I've seen lies rip young people apart. People hating on each other, spreading gossip, lies. It can build up and up. I've seen a vicious fight with around 30 people involved, baseball bats, knives and injuries. Lies and the resulting hate was the cause. Don't go round lying. For one made up story you have to make up another until you're made a fool of when everyone realises the only lying you’re doing is to yourself.
10. Don’t set your heart on anything that is your neighbour’s.
Nobody ever got happy by wishing they had more. The Bible talks about being satisfied with what you have. It isn't saying don't go out and succeed and do better. What it means is don't let getting stuff become the aim of your life. If you're lusting after the wife from next door then you're going to have problems in your head, problems being with your wife, enjoying her company. If you want the car from next door, this messes with your head. We've maybe seen the advert with 2 couples in 2 cars by traffic lights. One car is a clapped out banger, the other is a fresh new dream machine. Looking from her posh car into the old banger, the woman says to the other woman, 'we used to have one of those.' You've maybe seen the loan adverts - get £10,000 and get yourself a holiday. But… you have got to pay for it, you have to pay back hundreds or thousands of pounds more than you get in a loan and whatever you get won't last, nor will the buzz. Think before you splash out and spend.
So some people go round saying the 10 Commandments are rules. Wrong. The truth is that these don't restrict your freedom, they give you freedom. As a Christian following these principles, I'm free from prison, free from killing people, free from ruining families, free from STIs, free from messing with people's lives and they benefit my life. OK so you can go ignoring these 10 C's, thinking they're just some religious rules. But for every action there's a reaction. For every freedom there is a price to pay. For me, not obeying the 10 C's is a price not worth paying.