Q8: What is the law of God stated in the Ten Commandments?
ANSWER: You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below—you shall not bow down to them or worship them. You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Honor your father and your mother. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not give false testimony. You shall not covet.
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World comprised civilization’s greatest accomplishments over a span of 2,000 years. They included the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Lighthouse of Alexandria. Of the Seven Wonders, only the Great Pyramid of Giza still stands today. Each wonder was a reflection of the Ancient Near East culture that created it. These “wonders” served as monuments to a certain culture’s religion, to its laws, and to its deities.
Yet I would proffer that the 10 Commandments given to the Jews stands as the greatest Wonder of the Ancient World.
The Jews were a culture known for law. Shaye Cohen in his essay “Judaism and Jewishness” says this about Judaism: “First and foremost Judaism is a system of laws. The laws cover all aspects of life and have endured unchanged since they were given by Moses.” The Jews are not known for inventions, pyramids, art, or literature. They are not known for being workers of bronze or iron. They are known for their devotion (and lack thereof) to God and to God’s law.
John Yates describes the 10 Commandments as a “love gift” given to the Jews in 1446 B.C. The description of the 10 Commandments as a “love gift” might appear, at first glance, out of place. After all, the 10 Commandments are a list of do’s and don’ts, most of which we are not living up to.
So then, how are they a love gift? The law is nothing less than an expression of God’s holy and moral character (James 2:10-11), and his law explains how we are supposed to live. Rightly understood, the law is a delight and joy, a path for successful living.
The law also shows us our sin and reveals our need for salvation. Thankfully, the God who revealed his law to us also revealed his Son to us.
Jesus tells the woman at the well, “You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22). And what is this salvation from the Jews? Jesus Christ, the Galilean, born in Bethlehem. He is our salvation, making him the single Greatest Wonder in the entire World.