Message: "The Original Tablet"
The laws were a loving gift from God to help the people restore the order of Eden's garden. It was delivered in a way that elicited fear, in hopes that people would be too scared to sin. We look at the three types of law, and its role in the life of the Christian.
Year of the Book Discussion Questions
From the Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible: "The important thing for us to understand for our spiritual formation is the way in which grace precedes law. God first acts in grace and mercy by delivering the people, and then the people respond in gratitude and thanksgiving by obeying the commandments. Put succinctly: the crossing of the Red Sea comes before the giving of the Ten Commandments." (p. 125)
From Counterfeit Gods: The Empty Promises of Money, Sex, and Power, and the Only Hope That Matters by Tim Keller: "Two Jewish philosophers who knew the Scriptures intimately concluded: 'The central...principle of the Bible [is] the rejection of idolatry.' The Bible is therefore filled with story after story depicting the innumerable forms and devastating effects of idol worship. Every counterfeit god a heart can choose- whether love, money, success, or power- has a powerful biblical narrative that explains how that particular kind of idolatry works itself out in our lives." (p. 4)
- What were some of the "laws" or rules you had in your households as you were growing up? Why do you think your parents/grandparents had the rules in place?
GOD: WHAT IS GOD SAYING/DOING?
- God is precise and clear in His giving of the Ten Commandments. The first four of the ten are focused on keeping the relationship with God intact. As you think about these four (no worship of other gods, no idolatry, no abuse of God's holy name, and abuse of God's holy Sabbath), which one is heeded more than the others? Which one is neglected? Why do you think this is?
- The first commandment forbids the worshipping of other gods, while the second forbids the worshipping of idols. What might that "worship" look like in this day and age? Why do you think this is important to God?
GATHER: WHAT IS THE COVENANTAL COMMUNITY DOING AND WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR US?
- The fifth through tenth commandments is focused on keeping our relationships with others intact. As you think about these six (honoring parents, honoring marriage, honoring the lives of others, honoring the possessions of others, honoring the truth, and honoring what God gives others and us to live with), which one is heeded more than the others? Which one is neglected? Why do you think that is?
- The fifth and seventh commandments focus specifically on the family unit (honoring parents and marriage). Do you think this is significant? Why is it important to keep our familial relationships intact?
GO: HOW CAN THIS SCRIPTURE SHAPE YOUR INTERACTIONS WITH NEIGHBORS?
- In Matthew 22:36–40, scholars suggest that Jesus reveals the heart of the Ten Commandments- to love God and love neighbors. These two commandments are intimately connected to one another. Why can't you separate the commands to love God and love your neighbors?
- What are ways you can be more loving toward your neighbors?
Learn more about Year of the Book, our church-wide initiative to read the Bible together in 2018.