In Exodus 20 of the Holy Scriptures is listed what is referred to as “The Ten Commandments.” These commandments given to Moses from God on Mt. Sinai include, “Thou shalt not kill;” “Thou shalt not steal;” “Thou shalt not bear false witness.” The list of commandments does not end with the ten most familiar commandments of the chapter, but continue on throughout the rest of the Book of Exodus, the Books of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, containing over 600 laws in all given by God to be obeyed.
As The LORD continued giving Moses in detail HIS LAW that was to be followed in addition to the Ten Commandments, in the very first verse of Exodus 23 is written, “Thou shalt not raise a false report.” A true witness among the people is what must be maintained to have a civil society for mankind to live in peace and experience the blessings of God. The verse goes on to say, “Put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.” It is Satan who is the father of lies and false reports, and those who follow him do his bidding (John 8:44). The Apostle Paul wrote of those who are deceitful, “Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips,” (Romans 3:13).
Just a few verses following the command, “Thou shalt not raise a false report,” God admonished Moses in the giving of His Law that the people were to “Keep thee far from a false matter,” (Exodus 23:7). Whenever and wherever a falsehood rears its ugly head, God commands man to distance himself from it and not to become a part of it. It is Satan’s desire to deceive the people through falsehoods; it is God’s desire to bring eternal salvation and right living to the people through the TRUTH of His Word (John 17:17).
Key Verse(s): Deuteronomy 6:4-5, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.”
Review of Wilderness Wanderings – Chapters 1-4, 8
Ten Commandments Restated – Chapters 5-6, 9
Chosen Because of Love – Chapter 7
Warnings – Chapters 10-11
Conditions of Blessing – Chapters 12-26
Instructions Living in Promised Land – Chapters 27-30
Book of Law in Ark of Covenant – Chapter 31
Moses’ Encouragement, Last Words – Chapters 31-33
Moses’ Death – Chapter 34
Key Verse: Exodus 20:2, “I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”
Moses’ Birth – Chapters 1-2
Burning Bush – Chapters 3–4
Confrontations with Pharoah – Chapters 5-7
Plagues in Egypt – Chapters 8-11
Deliverance from Egypt – Chapters 12-19
10 Commandments – Chapter 20
Law is Given – Chapters 21-32
Wilderness Wanderings – Chapters 33-40
It has been the prayer of many for decades of the Lord granting another Great Awakening to America and beyond. It was during the 1730s into the 1740s the First Great Awakening took place, with the Second Great Awakening following fifty years later during the 1790s into the early decades of the 1800s. Lives were dramatically changed, along with communities, as sin was repented of within a person’s heart and their utmost desire became to live for God by obeying His Word.
“Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” as the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 10. It was by the preaching of a young pastor named Jonathan Edwards in Massachusetts that sparked the First Great Awakening. Edwards was greatly concerned that those who sat under his preaching were prepared for what lie ahead of them in Eternity, either Heaven above or Hell beneath. In order for them to make their decision they needed to know of their lost condition, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23); they needed to know of God’s wrath concerning their sin, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Romans 1:18); they needed to know of God’s provision through His Son’s death on the cross to pay for their sin, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Jonathan Edwards preached powerful sermons that caused men and women, boys and girls to grip their church pews tightly with their hands, cry out to God for forgiveness and fall on their knees in total surrender to Him.
Jonathan Edwards is noted for his greatest sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” taking his text from Deuteronomy 32:35, “Their foot shall slide in due time.” Other sermons preached by Edwards to reveal through Scripture the reality of “the place of torment” (Luke 16: 19:31) awaiting those who reject the Son of God, were titled:
- “The End of the Wicked Contemplated by the Righteous” – Revelation 18:20, “Rejoice over her thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.”
- “The Future Punishment of the Wicked Unavoidable and Intolerable” – Ezekiel 22:14, “Can thine heart endure… in the days that I shall deal with thee? I the Lord have spoken it, and will do it.”
- “The Wicked Useful in Their Destruction Only” – Ezekiel 15:2-4, “What is the vine tree more than any tree…Behold, it is cast into the fire for fuel… Is it meet for any work?”
- “The Eternity of Hell Torments” – Matthew 25:46,“These shall go away into everlasting punishment.”
- “The Unreasonableness of Indetermination in Religion” – I Kings 18:21, “How long halt ye between two opinions?”
- “The Folly of Looking Back in Fleeing Out of Sodom” – Luke 17:32, “Remember Lot’s wife.”
- “When the Wicked Shall Have Filled Up the Measure of Their Sin, Wrath Will Come Upon Them to the Uttermost” – I Thessalonians 2:16, “To fill up their sins alway.”
Not until the pulpits of our churches begin to proclaim the full counsel of God concerning sin that so easily besets us all and His wrath that is to come upon sinful people, will revival break forth. Man must first realize his lost condition before God in his inability to keep the Ten Commandments, “for whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all,” (James 2:10). Once man is presented with his total depravity before God and his weakness to do anything about it by himself, will he cry out with the Philippian jailer in Acts 16, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”…saved from God’s wrath that is to come.
The LORD has written in His Word the blessings He will bring upon those who listen to His voice through His Word, to observe and to do all He commands. He promises His blessings will come UPON them and OVERTAKE them. But for those who choose not to read God’s Word and be obedient unto Him, curses will be what comes upon them and overtakes them in their daily lives (Deuteronomy 28).
- Blessed will you be in the city, and in the field.
- Blessed will be the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your ground.
- Blessed will be the fruit of your cattle, your oxen, and the flocks of your sheep.
- Blessed will be your basket and your store.
- Blessed will you be when you come in, and when you go out.
- Blessed will you be when your enemies are brought down.
- Blessed will be your storehouses.
- Blessed will be all you do.
- Blessed will be your land.
- Blessed will be the rain that falls on your land in season.
- Blessed will you be to lend and not to borrow.
“All these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, IF thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.” Deuteronomy 28:2
- Cursed you will be in the city, and in the field.
- Cursed will be your basket and your store.
- Cursed will be the fruit of your body, and the fruit of your land.
- Cursed will be the increase of your cattle, and the flocks of your sheep.
- Cursed will be when you come in, and when you go out.
- Cursed, vexation and rebuke will come upon all that you do.
- Cursed with pestilence, consumption, fever, inflammation, and extreme burning.
- Cursed with the sword, blasting, and mildew.
- Cursed with heaven as brass and earth as iron under your feet.
- Cursed with rain as powder and dust coming down upon the land.
- Cursed with enemies smiting you.
- Cursed with diseases, madness, astonishment of heart.
- Cursed with children given to others.
- Cursed with others getting what you produce.
- Cursed with oppression.
- Cursed with sowing much seed, reaping little.
- Cursed with destruction of vineyard by worms.
- Cursed with children given to captivity.
- Cursed with trees and fruit eaten by locust.
- Cursed with being brought low.
- Cursed with having to borrow, and not lend.
“Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed: Because thou hearkened not unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded thee… Because you served not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things.” Deuteronomy 28:45,47
Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? Every person born into this world asks these questions of themselves in their lifetime. The wisest man who ever lived pondered the meaning of life and shares with those who read his words in the Book of Ecclesiastes, ”Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter.”
King Solomon had it all: fame, fortune, family. He was the ruler of a vast kingdom stretching from the Euphrates River in the east to the land of Egypt in the west. Kings and queens came to him from near and far bearing gifts, seeking peace, and desiring to hear his counsel. He enjoyed every perk in life, from houses and land, to entertainment and possessions galore. He had experienced it all, enjoyed it all, possessed it all but in the end found it lacking when assessing the meaning of his life against all the world had offered him. He summed up the conclusion of the whole matter by writing in just six words what is most important in life.
In the end, when all was said and done, Solomon penned these words that have echoed down through millennia, “The conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” Since the opening chapters of Genesis man has been admonished by God Himself to reverence the Lord God and obey His commands found written throughout His Word, promising when one does He will bring blessing upon them. Solomon finished his wise counsel for the reason all should heed God’s instruction, “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil,” (12:13-14).
“Remember now thy Creator
In the days of thy youth,
While the evil days come not,
Nor the years draw nigh.”