Have you ever wondered why God gave man 10 commandments? Well, here is a possible explanation as to why: First, the maximum number of fingers given to man with a ‘normal’ hand is 10. Beyond 10, man grows impatient.
Take the Sinai incident for example; The Israelis could hardly wait for Moses to return with the God given message. The same God who had delivered them from Israel through a myriad of miracles among them the 10 plagues as well as sweeping an entire Egyptian army that had tried to follow God’s chosen people across the Red Sea! Yet it is these same people who grew impatient enough to disobey and out-rightly disapprove of God’s power and mind with the urgency of a pressing short call!
Exodus 20:6 presents the 10 Commandments in two forms; the first 4 spells out the relationship between the people and their God. Call him a jealous God or a strict God but that is just the way it is.
The last six commandments then go ahead to outline how humans should relate with fellow humans.
1. I am the LORD your God who brought you out of Israel. Worship no God BUT me. God reminds us of everything we owe Him and underscores this deliverance to be the basis upon which we should owe our allegiance to no other gods.
2. Do not make for yourself images of anything in heaven or on earth or in the water under the earth. This verse talks against idol worship. No one knows how God looks like. Nor His son; nor the angels. Therefore, one cannot claim to bow to an image he or she thinks replicates the supernatural.
3. Do not use My name for evil purposes. Well, just how often do you curse in the name of God? God strongly says He will punish anyone who misuses His name.
4. Observe the Sabbath day and Keep it Holy. The Sabbath’s importance was reiterated by God in the Creation Story. He rested after creating man. After seeing that everything He had made was Good. We should also always make time for Him.
God begins the Commandments with the most important aspect of our spirituality. Relationship with Him. It is vital for all humans to have this relationship no matter what denomination we subscribe to.
5. Honor your father and mother. This commandment comes with the promise of the blessings of many years on earth.
6. Do NOT commit murder.
7. Do NOT commit adultery.
8. Do not steal.
9. Do not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. Do not desire another man’s possessions. These include his spouse and everything else they own.
NOTE that the last six commandments are very brief and to the point compared to the thoroughly explained 4 on our relationship with God. It is man’s nature to seek out ambiguity. God’s laws are clear and man knows the repercussions of not following them.
Well, there you Go. Our complex minds would have further complicated the commandments had they been too lengthily expounded or had they been too many to memorize.
Thos explains why Christ further surmarised all this into one single commandment;
Love The Lord your God with your ALL; and our neighbor as you love yourself.