Romans 13:9-10: “The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not covet,’ and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

If a robot asked us “what is love?” wouldn’t we need to download a descriptive manual to explain what love is all about? – I know this seems a little far-fetched, but just humor me for a minute. – The Ten Commandments are like a manual explaining that we show love when we do not steal, when we do not lie and refuse to take advantage of someone’s misfortune; all the while we help our neighbors, give generously, conduct fair businesses and show respect by upholding the so-defined love standard.

Granted, we are no robots and the word “love” should mean something to us; unfortunately, not all of us are born into very promising circumstances, and then love may not make a whole lot of sense. Looking at the people of Israel around the time when they received the Ten Commandments from God, they were refugees roaming the Sinai desert – escaped slaves. A slave is considered a prized possession at best and mistreated like an abused animal at its worst. All day push and pull; do this, don’t do that!

600,000 men of military age were counted when the Israelites left Egypt. Israel’s exodus may have ended for them the Egyptian tyranny, but a former slave had to redefine his entire existence. Multiply this times 600,000 and we are looking at a major identity crisis of an entire people group.

I believe issuing the Ten Commandments at this point in history was extremely helpful. It turned a motley crew of refugees into the people of Israel who made it through the desert and are still around today. – What about now? Are the Ten Commandments still relevant today? – Well, does humanity still have issues with this thing called love?

While commandments written in stone are no replacement for love, they represent a road map showing us how to get there. Most importantly, the commandments all point to its Author – God Almighty – and finding Him, we find everything.

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