Ten Utterances

By Dave Henning / March 8, 2015

“The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.”- Psalm 19:7

In Chapter 12 (“The Soul Needs Freedom”) of Soul Keeping, John Ortberg observes that Israel always has had deep respect for the giving of the law in a way that is hard for Christians to understand.  Before God gave Moses the Ten Commandments to deliver to Israel, God reminded them He was their liberator: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” (Exodus 20:2)

Pastor Ortberg asserts that the Ten Commandments come within a relational context- they never were designed to be a set of rules.  Judaism, in fact, does not refer to them as the Ten Commandments.  The Hebrew phrase is aseret hadevarim, literally meaning “ten utterances” or “ten statements.”  They flow out of how God designed us and who we were meant to be.  While we read the Ten Commandments as “this is what you have to do,” God is saying “this is who you are.”  Pastor Ortberg explains the effect on us when we don’t keep the commandments:

“That’s why we don’t so much break the Ten Commandments as we break ourselves when we violate them.”

In the next blog John will discuss the two kinds of freedom: (1) freedom from external constraints and (2) freedom for the kind of life we were meant to live.

Today’s question: What Scriptures have freed you from the circumstantial slavery of your vocation loss?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: the new Short Meditation, “Don’t strike out!”



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Dave Henning

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