Exodus 20:1-2 And God spoke all these words:
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”
Before giving Moses the 10 Commandments, God reminded him, and through him the whole nation, of who He was. Because of their polytheistic background, they were in real danger of misunderstanding just who was giving them these commandments. The ten that follow are justly famous, but I was struck, on reading them again just now, at how every one of them is systematically violated in the US today, certainly not by every individual, but by society as a whole. No other gods – on top of an influx of various religions there is the worship of man that is called atheism. No idols – the TV, the computer, and now a pantheon of portable devices “entertain” to the exclusion of God. Entertainment “stars” are justly called “idols.” Misusing the name of God – where do I start? A clean mouth seems to be the exception today, rather than the standard. Remembering the Sabbath day – the “weekend” is sacrosanct, not for worship but for pleasure. Honor your father and mother – the extreme breakdown of the family is justly indicted as the cause of the vast majority of society’s ills. You shall not murder – and abortion is just that, in sharp contrast to war or execution. Adultery – seldom has any society glorified sex in every form except monogamous marriage to the extend America does today. Stealing – now we’ve institutionalized it and call it “income tax.” False testimony – perjury seems to be the standard mode of operation in the government today. Coveting – class warfare is totally based on this, and the government seems bent on promoting it, not to inspire effort but rather the opposite.
Well, that was quite a rant! As grieved as I am about what I see in society as a whole, I’ve got to start with myself. I’ve got to examine my own life to see how I am measuring up, and the picture is not always pretty. I find I am particularly vulnerable when it comes to accepting the entertainment the world offers, when that is precisely what opens the door for all the rest. I’ve got to stop being a consumer of rot! Not all entertainment is bad, certainly, but I’m not to accept filth just because it’s entertaining! I don’t watch much TV and I seldom go to movies, but I spend a lot of time in front of the computer, and that in itself can be idolatry. I’ve got to be careful to keep my focus on the Lord, or sin will swiftly entangle. (Hebrews 12:1-2) As a pastor I am to be setting the example, and I don’t always do that well.
Father, as Jesus said, I’m in the world but not of it. (John 17:15-16) Help me live as Your child, Your agent, all the time and not just occasionally, so that in fellowship with You I may work Your works for Your pleasure and glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!