About Jesus    Steve Sweetman

Home Page

Previous Section - Chapter 9

Next Section - Chapter 11

chapter 10

Tablets Like The First Ones (ch. 10:1 - 11)


In this chapter Moses recalls the time he broke the original tablets where upon God had written the Ten Commandments.  Out of anger, after seeing Israel worshipping the gold calf, Moses broke those two stone tablets.  Here, Moses recalls that God had him make two more tablets so God could write the Ten Commandments on them as He did the first time.  God is gracious in doing this a second time for Israel.  


Note verses 6 through 9 are in brackets.  Most Bible scholars believe the first five books of the Bible were written by Moses, but edited by someone else, years, perhaps centuries later.  Many Bible teachers think Ezra the scribe, who wrote the book of Ezra, was the editor, but that can't be certain.  Verses 6 through 9 are a departure of the train of Moses' thought.  It appears these words were edited into the text at a later date, and that is why these verses are surrounded by brackets.


Note in verse 10 that Moses said that it was not God's will for Him to destroy Israel.  God did destroy many Israelis along the way for their rebellion, but as Moses states here, He didn't really want to.  Besides, as Moses states in verse 11, God will not break His promise He made to Israel's forefathers.  That's Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  God will never totally eradicate Israel, and it's not because she is righteous. It's because God will not break His promise to Abraham.  That's always the fundamental point when thinking about Israel, even to this very day.


Fear The Lord (ch. 10:12 - 22)  


There are a few things that God requires of Israel as seen in verse 12 and 13.  Israel is to fear God, love Him, serve Him, obey Him, and walk in His ways.  I suggest that these things are required of Christians today.  This has not changed.  Note that in verse 13 that these requirements are for Israel 's own good.  The same would apply to Christians.  Obeying our Lord and living as He wants will make things better for us in the long run.


Verse 14 tells us that all the heavens, even the highest heaven, and everything in it and in the earth belongs to God.  This is because He created all things.  The New Testament says that satan is prince of this world, and that is true, but being prince does not mean he owns the world.  God only owns the world.


Note the term "highest heavens".   There are a couple of ways of understanding the word heaven in the Bible.  The most common is that place where God lives.  The apostle Paul speaks of three heavens.  Many people believe that the third heaven is where God lives.  The first heaven is the sky above us, and the second heaven is the universe.  In Genesis 1 we see the word heavens used in relation to the sky and universe. 


Verse 15 clearly states the reason for God choosing Abraham and his descendents to be special.  It is a sovereign act of God's choice.  He chose to set His affections on Abraham and Israel.  He loved Abraham.  There was something in the heart of God that just wanted to bless Abraham over others. 


In verse 16 Moses tells Israel to "circumcise their hearts". We already know that men and boys were to circumcise their foreskin, but here, Moses gets to the heart of the matter when it comes to circumcision.  It's really our hearts that need to be circumcised, for it is the heart that is evil.  The evil needs to be cut right out of our hearts, and if that can be done, our actions will be pure and holy to the Lord. This sounds like a New Testament passage, but it's not.  Even in the Old Testament we see hints at New Testament thinking.


Moses states how awesome God is in verse 17.  He ends this verse by saying that God "shows no partiality", and He does not accept bribes.  Other gods and priests of pagan gods did show partiality and accept bribes, but not the God of Israel. 


You might ask, "did God not show partiality by making Israel as special nation"?  I would say no because He had precise reasons for choosing Israel.  They were to be priests to the rest of the nations on earth.  They were to show other nations how to live before the Lord.  Yes, His choice to choose Abraham and Israel was based on His affection for them, as stated above, there was a rational reason behind the affection and His choice. 


God calls who He wants.  He is God.  He can do whatever He wants. But, when it comes to showing justice or mercy, God is not partial. The same rules apply to all men in all places.


In verses 17 through 19 Moses states that God loves the fatherless, the widows, the aliens.  These are all people who find themselves in a not so good situation.  God loves the downtrodden, and so should we.  Christians, and the church, should show love to the downtrodden.  This is not only Old Testament teaching but New Testament teaching as well.  This is the way Jesus lived, and we should live the same way. 


This chapter ends by Moses stating that when Israel went into Egypt, they were a family of seventy people, and now they are as numerous as the stars in the sky.  I've said this before, being numerous as the stars in the sky was part of the Abrahamic Covenant.  Does this mean the covenant was now fulfilled?  Obviously the answer is no.  First of all, I believe the Lord had a higher number for Israel's population than what they had at this point in their history.  Second, there are other parts of the covenant that are yet to be fulfilled, but will be when Jesus returns as King of the Jews at the end of this age.


Next Section - Chapter 11

Previous Section - Chapter 9

Home Page