The Decalogue: Prohibition For The Protection Of Gifts

In ethics class, Dr. Ken Magnuson puts the use of the Decalogue in an interesting light: God has given us wonderful gifts and desires to protect them. He gave us human life and to protect that gift, He prohibits murder. He gives us property and material possessions and commerce, and to protect that He prohibits stealing. He gives us speech and communication to exchange truth and to protect the preciousness of truth; He prohibits lying (bearing false witness). He tells us to worship Him and that reveals His desire for fellowship with us and to protect us from lowly idol worship. On and on for all of the 10 “words” – commandments, i.e. the Decalogue, this can go.

This way of thinking of the Decalogue deserves a far better treatment than I can provide at the moment (perhaps a book should be written addressing this would be appropriate), but this helped me look at the 10 Commandments in a new light. God isn’t an a sort of cosmic tyrant, but a creator and giver of gifts who has provided some instruction to protect the integrity of such wonderful gifts as illustrated above.

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