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.” (Exodus 20:1-2)
In Hebrew, what we commonly refer to as the Ten Commandments is called the Ten Words. In fact, the Greek term Decalogue comes from the word deka, “ten,” and logos, “word.” These Ten Words are fundamental to our faith which is why God spoke to the people directly and not through Moses initially. These ten commands are also considered to be the basic “outline” or “headings” for human behavior. In other words, all other Biblical commands will, in some way, fall under one of these primary ten “headings.”
Furthermore, Judaism believes that when God spoke from Sinai, He spoke in every known language at that time, indicating that the Ten Commands given to Israel were not for Israel only — they were and are for all mankind. These laws were intended to provide guidance for the entire world, thus they are displayed in synagogues and in churches. Moreover, throughout America’s history, it has always been common to see these Ten Commands displayed publicly as evidence of the belief that, as a nation, we acknowledge God’s sovereignty.
Unfortunately, that respect for God’s laws is changing, evidenced by the fact that the public display of these commands is continually under fire. In reality, the objective of those who war against displaying the Ten Commandments is to undermine the Supreme authority of the One who issued them. Those who promote the removal of the Ten Commandments from public view are most often those who deny His existence and, therefore, promoting the idea that there is no need for God’s rules — man is free to do as he sees fit.
As believers, we know where this trend will lead mankind — to lawlessness and utter destruction. That is why, more than ever before, it is our duty to abide by the Ten Words. Whether or not they are displayed in the public square, they may still be exhibited in our lives wherever we are. We, then, become those tablets engraved with the Word of God and written by the fiery finger of the Almighty. There is no court or secular organization who will be able to erase the Word of God when it is written in our hearts. May we all be living epistles boldly proclaiming the sovereignty of our God in the midst of a corrupt world.
Blessings and Shalom,