The Ten Commandments or the Tablets of the Law are the laws that God gave to the people of Israel through Moses after leading them out of Egypt. In essence, they are a summary of the hundreds of laws found in the Old Testament Law and are recorded in Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21. They offer basic rules of behavior for spiritual and moral living.
A modern-day paraphrase of the Ten Commandments:
- Do not worship any other god than the one true God. All other gods are false gods.
- Do not make idols or images in the form of God. An idol can be anything (or anyone) you worship by giving it more importance than God. If something (or someone) has your time, attention and affections, it has your worship. It could be an idol in your life.
- Do not treat God's name lightly or with disrespect. Because of God's importance, his name is always to be spoken of with honor.
- Dedicate or set aside a regular day each week for sabbath rest and worship of the Lord.
- Give honor to your father and mother by treating them with respect and obedience.
- Do not deliberately kill a fellow human being.
- Do not have sexual relations with anyone other than your spouse. God forbids sex outside of the bounds of marriage.
- Do not steal or take anything that doesn't belong to you, unless you have been given permission to do so.
- Do not tell a lie about someone or bring a false accusation against another person.
- Do not desire anything or anyone that does not belong to you. Comparing yourself to others and longing to have what they have leads to jealousy, envy and other sins. Be content by focusing on the blessings God has given you and not what he has not given you.