Life of Moses: The Moral Law of God

Peter Barnes: Exodus 20:1-17 : NO AUDIO

(14 April 2019)


God’s moral law is in Exodus 20, God’s judicial law in Ex.21-23, and His ceremonial law in Ex.25-31.

1. The Ten Commandments are central to God’s moral law.

– Ex.34:28; Deut.4:13; 10:1-4. There are supposed to be 613 commandments in the Old Testament, but they are summarised in the Ten Commandments.

– not all the laws are equal – Matt.23:23; Prov.6:30-35.

– We are told whom to worship – 20:1-3; Acts 4:12; how to worship – 20:4-6; how to treat God’s name – 20:7. He demands the right use of our time – 20:8-11; Rev.1:10. We are to honour our parents; we are not to murder – from the moment of conception to our final breath; sexual relations outside marriage are forbidden; stealing is forbidden, including kidnapping (hence no slave trade); bearing false witness against our neighbour is a serious offence. Guard our hearts – 20:17.

– Matt.19:18-19; Rom.13:8-10; James 1:25. The law is not our Saviour, but we need to know it to know our Saviour.

2. The Ten Commandments are life-enhancing.

– Nobody objects to clear signs: ‘Speed Limit 60’. A clear statement of what is true and is more loving than coddling up to falsehood. C. S. Lewis: ‘We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.’

3. The Ten Commandments are written on the hearts of all.

– Rom.2:14-16. Before the Ten Commandments were given, Cain knew murder was wrong (Gen.4) and Joseph and Potiphar’s wife both knew adultery was wrong (Gen.39), although only Joseph obeyed. Ps.119:126-128.