If we get rid of the 10 Commandments from our society, we don’t merely lose a moral code, we forget how to show love to God and others for these commands teach us HOW TO LOVE both God and people. Remember that Jesus identified the Greatest Commandments as loving God and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. That means any other commandment must be a sub-point of these two commands for “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matt 22:35-40).
In this post we will look at the commandments that teach us how to love God. The next post will consider the commandments that teach us how to love people so be sure to subscribe to receive e-mail notice of new posts if not already subscribed.
Which of the Ten Commandments listed in Exodus 20 teach us how to love God?
The first four commandments relate to our relationship with God. He is first, and then people.
Command #1: You shall have no other gods before me. (Ex. 20:3)
Jesus said we are to love God with ALL of who we are which means we put Him first in terms of priority, importance, and devotion. We give Him the reigns of our lives, not allowing ourselves to come under the control of others things or people. He is our first love who has ALL of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Command #2: You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them … (Ex. 20:4-6)
When we truly love someone, we accept them for who they are. Likewise, love for God keeps us from trying to redefine Him or confining or limiting Him to our understanding. He is the one of whom there is none greater. He is so great that we can’t possibly fashion anything physically or mentally that comes close to describing who He is, and we dishonor Him if we try.
Command #3: You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God … (Ex. 20:7)
Who dishonors or disrespects those they love? If anything, we dignify them before others. If we love God, we will honor Him in the way we both speak and live so He is glorified. We let our light shine for Him (Matt. 5:16).
Command #4: Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy … (Ex. 20:8-11)
When we love someone, we want to spend time with them. When we love God, we likewise intentionally and purposefully set aside time to rest in Him. We guard against getting so busy that He is scheduled out of our lives.
Keeping these first four commandments shows that you do indeed love God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. It’s not about meriting God’s love through our obedience but rather showing Him love.