Proper 22, Year A, Old Testament
Scripture: Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20
Prior to God giving the Israelites the commandments, the people of Israel reached Mount Sinai where God tells Moses how to prepare the people for what is to come. The people are consecrated and waiting to hear God’s word, when the voice of God comes to them.
The Ten Commandments are straightforward instructions given to the Israelites by God for how to be in relationship with God and with each other. The first commandment sets the tone for the rest as it is telling the people, I am your God, there will be no other. It is calling all of Israel to give their life, every part of their being to God, and to put away all other gods that they may have known in the past. This is a radical restructuring of their lives.
All of the commandments are about how we are to be in community and relationship with one another in this new way. The first four are about how we are to be in relationship with God, how we are to interact with God and how we are to structure our lives around God. The final six are about how we are to interact, honor and treat one another.