Joyful Commandments?

I have been enjoying our time looking through the Ten Commandments this Lent. There is plenty that I previously had not appreciated. Particularly what has shone out for me has been how each of the commandments light up a different area of God’s character.

So as we have gone through we have been shown (1) a God of freedom who asks us not to slave away for gods that don’t care about us, but to live from his grace. (2) A God of jealous love – he is the consuming fire of love itself – if he were not jealous for our hearts he would only love us a little bit. (3) A God who makes himself known and who calls us to know him as he really is. (4) A God of rest who graciously gives his people rest – there is more than enough time in eternity for everything we want to do so there is no need to rush now. (5) God our Father who cares for us deeply; (6) a God of reconciliation, who asks us to set aside our anger, knowing that God’s wrath against our own sin has been spent on the cross. (7) A God of faithfulness, who asks us to cut out of our lives anything that would tempt us to unfaithfulness. (8) A generous God, who has given us his own image, every spiritual blessing and eternal bliss. (9) A God of truth who can be trusted, who asks us to live without deceit towards each other. (10) A God of perfect joy, who brings contentment.

It is both a compelling picture painted of God and an attractive vision of how best to live life given by the person who knows how we tick because he made us. Here we have a God of freedom and jealous love who makes himself known; a God of rest who we can call our father; a faithful and generous God of reconciliation; full of truth and joy. And so here we can be free and loved, we can know God and receive rest, we can be reconciled to our heavenly Father who will never let us down or lie to us. Here we can receive perfect joy.

As we go through Lent, and these commandments, we have opened ourselves to God to allow his Spirit to convict us of those areas of our lives that he would have us change. And it is right to do that. But as we enter into Easter I encourage you to think of the character of God that we are shown in these commandments; and the very many benefits won for us by Christ as he died and rose again, doing what we are unable to do in fulfilling them. In short, I invite us together to be happy in the God of the Ten Commandments who is displayed for us here resplendently in his Word.