“Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shat not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against they neighbor. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbors’ wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is they neighbor’s.” Exodus 20:12-17
Today’s Christian daily devotional
“Turn left.” Richard breathes his instructions quietly to the younger recruit behind him.
“Yes sir.” Dennis attempts a whisper. But, even his subdued voice is loud enough to rustle the attention of the enemy they’re hiding from.
“Shush!” Richard ducks low in the dry wheat field, pushing Dennis on his knees.
The soldiers hold their breath until the muffled voices pass by, not detecting the two figures now laying flat on the scratchy wheat stalks.
“Keep moving forward.” Richard peers down at the compass attached his belt. Clenching his jaw with fierce determination, he resolves to keep moving north, no matter what the cost.
Dennis lethargically rises up, hunger written all over his worn and muddied face.
“How are we ever going to survive if you keep eating from our till every five minutes?” Despite his harsh tone, Richard reaches into his backpack and pulls out a small portion of cured meat.
As soon as he tossed it, Dennis leaps from his position like a dog, inhaling the measly portion with newfound vigor.
“There you two are!” The thick voice startled the two. It seemed to come from nowhere and everywhere at once. A giant pair of hands emerged from the dry stalks. Within a nanosecond, Dennis was swooped into the air by them.
“No!” Richard frantically pummeled the trunk-like appendages. But just as quickly, they also pulled him up at a dizzying speed. Both boys squealed as if they were being hauled off to the slaughterhouse.
The burly giant carried one boy under each arm. He could have easily used their bodies to cut through the dense wheat forest; but he carefully chopped through the mess, making sure not inflict any harm to them.
“Oh good! You found them!” A petite woman called out from the front porch of a small farmhouse.
“Yup. You boys have some explaining to do.” He dropped the two off like bags of wheat on the long swinging porch chair.
Dennis looked at Richard. His hair was matted and his face was streaked with dirt.
“Oh, Harley. They need a decent washing and a hot meal.” With her rosy cheeks and buxom figure, Mrs. Harley looked rather angelic to the both of them.
“Then, I’m sure that these kids will be happy to answer any question you ask them, right boys?” She winked.
The two young boys nodded in unison, slightly dazed from the whole ordeal.
Harley reached into his overall pockets silently pulling out a hand-rolled cigar. One of his eyebrows hovered in the air like a giant question mark.
Mrs. Harley’s giggle lightened up the atmosphere. She pulled the screen door open, leading the boys up the stairs. The house was as warm and fragrant as her.
A tiny bathroom stood at the top of the stairs. Mrs. Harley led the way, her long skirt swishing loudly up the wooden steps.
“So, where were you two outlaws headed?” She placed Richard and Dennis at the edge of the tub and pulled the boy’s wet and muddy socks off.
“Outlaws?” They spoke in synchrony, eyes as large as onions.
“Oh, yes. How do you think Old Harley knew to look for you? Mr. McKinney from the filling station down the street told us two thieves were on the loose. He said that they were headed towards our farm.” She turned the leaky spout; it hissed like a boiling tea kettle.
“I’ll let you two clean up. But, you might want to thank God that Harley’s hunting rifles weren’t finished being cleaned.” She left for a moment, coming back with fresh towels and some old T shirts that were much too large for either of the boys.
The outlaws washed in silence, frightened of the fate that awaited them at the bottom of those stairs.
A Kaleidoscope of the heavenly combination of bacon and eggs wafted under the large crack beneath the door. They were both so ravenous that the fear of the unknown wasn’t strong enough to hold them back.
Mrs. Harley heard the patter of their feet scurry to the kitchen below.
“I wasn’t expecting company this late. We already ate supper.” She scooped a pile of scrambled eggs onto a large platter, her face glistened from the steam of them.
Dennis and Richard slid into the hard wooden chairs, hair still wet. Those oversized T shirts kept slipping off Richard’s slim shoulders about every two seconds.
Mr. Harley sat at the head of the table, his back erect against the chair, eyeing the two as if they were hardened criminals.
“Bacon, too? They committed a crime and your feeding them like kings?” He swiped one of the fragrant pieces and methodically chewed it—without blinking.
“Harley, stop it!” The angel in an apron slapped his hand and pushed the plate of bacon closer to the hungry twosome.
“So, why were you boys stealing from Mr. McKinney’s store?” Mr. Harley retrieved another piece of bacon; it only took him stretching his long arm a little bit further.
“We were just trying to survive, mister.” Dennis piped up, eyes glued to that forbidden plate of pork; eating his eggs rapidly.
“We ran away from home.” Richard broke his silence with the truth. He figured it would be better for them to get the worst part over with.
“Oh, dear. Why, son?” Mrs. Harley lowered the pan she was washing.
“I was tired of the rules. Sick of doing chores…and what kind of man follows orders from…a…woman…m’am?” He stammered the last part, his voice weakening to a lower tone.
Exodus 20:12-17 are the last five of the ten commandments. Many people shudder at the thought of God getting involved with their everyday lives. It might be nice to call on Him when things get rough, but why bother in daily living?
The Ten Commandments were a wonderful gift to humanity. The source of most of the pain in this life stems from the root of rebellion.
Imagine for a moment what life would be like if all of society were to honor the laws of God.
Sin, like the Bible clearly warns, brings destruction.
God gave each one of us the free-will to choose to rebel against it, or to honor and uphold His laws.
How has your life been working out for you? If you work with God, instead of against Him, you will be moving yourself in a position to be blessed. Who couldn’t use that?
“Dear Heavenly Father,
I have been living in rebellion for so long, that I have no idea what your Ten Commandments are anymore.
I commit to submitting under your authority. Forgive me of my rebellion. Heal me from the wounds I have inflicted on my self and others. Show me what I need to do to reconcile my wrongs and make them right. Release me from the shame and guilt of the sins that you have forgiven me of.
Resurrect my attitude. Fill it with the same amazing power that resurrected Jesus from the dead.
I need you to quicken my conscience to no longer enjoy the benefits of rebellion. Help me to be grieved in my spirit when I choose to act in a way that is displeasing to you. I know that this is your protection mechanism for me to walk and live under the blessings of God.
I am lacking in them, Lord. Help me to come in agreement with your laws and to love them, for they will bring life and steer me away from a life that is filled with YOU! In Jesus’ precious name, because of His amazing blood and sacrifice, Amen.”
*In case you need a “refresher” on the Ten Commandments, here is a list of them in short form. You can find them in Exodus 20:1-17
- You shall have no other gods before me.
- You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
- Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
Thank you for reading today’s Christian daily devotional on verses: Exodus 20:1-17
Please check back and see what we have for you tomorrow!
Author: Julia Shalom Jordan