Tag Archives: Bondage

The Ten Commandments

Exodus 20 

1 And God spoke all these words, saying:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

“You shall have no other gods before Me.

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that isin heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God,am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that isin them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

You’re gonna have to serve somebody

You’re gonna have to serve somebody.
These lyrics from Bob Dylan’s song resonate with the words of Paul in Romans 6. Paul’s focus in the second half of this chapter is this- we are all designed by God to have a master. We are built that way. That sounds strange, doesn’t it, but when I use the word master it’s the lowest idea of what God intended.

 

God designed us to always be in intimate relationship with him….all the while allowing him to be Lord of our lives. But that plan went wrong when Adam chose a different lord….a taskmaster that led him into bondage. Now this idea of another reigning in my life is considered primitive, religious or even stupid.

But here’s the problem…in spite of our aversion to the idea it’s still the way we function, it’s still the way we are made, so we WILL install a master, a lord to reign in our lives. The question Paul asks is this- Do you understand how important this decision is? Do you understand the
implications? Who you choose as your lord will determine all that follows.

As I prepared to teach through this material last week I came to two verses, completely unrelated, that caught my attention because of one common word. Here are the verses and then let’s talk about them,

Genesis 4 “Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

Notice these words, “sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you…it desires to master you, but you must master it.”

Now, contrast that passage with this,


“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

Two visitors have come to seek entrance. One comes by stealth, crouching, looking for a way in to master us. The other comes knocking, looking for a relationship. What a contrast of masters. One simply wants to master our lives to sin, and finally death. The other wants a relationship, time to eat, fellowship with us and brings life. These are the two choices of masters. We each will choose one or the other. Here’s how Paul describes it in Romans 6,

“…do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”

You’re gonna have to serve somebody. At the door wait two masters. One will reign with evil desires and death as the final outcome. The other will rule in love and grace with life as his goal for you.

As I have thought about this I realize that most do not believe this is true. We believe, as the writer once wrote, “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” But it’s simply not true. We aren’t our own masters. It’s clear we choose whom we will serve, but serve we will.

 

 

Who do you serve?