All most all Christians agree that the ten commandments are a guide from God on how we should live. Sadly, not all Christians believe they are the law in which we should live and obey God. But either way, they are definitely, God’s Word for us to learn from. Most people think of Exodus chapter 20 as the place to find the ten commandments, but they are also repeated in the book of Deuteronomy, in chapter 5. The book of Deuteronomy is actually a whole teaching from Moses of ALL the teachings YHVH God gave to His people while they were in the wilderness. The teachings in this book expound on the ten commandments. Today, I want to discuss the first two commandments and what the book of Deuteronomy can teach us about them. Below I have Exodus 20:1-6 and Deuteronomy chapter 12. I am going to go through and highlight how I see the two going together. Enjoy.
20 Then God spoke all these words, saying,
2 “I am YHVH your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of [a]slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.5 You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, YHVH your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
Deuteronomy 12 “These are the statutes and the judgments which you shall carefully observe in the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess [a]as long as you live on the [b]earth. 2 You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. 3 You shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and burn their [c]Asherim with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods and obliterate their name from that place.4 You shall not act like this toward YHVH your God. 5 But you shall seek the Lord at the place which the Lord your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling, and there you shall come. 6 There you shall bring your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the [d]contribution of your hand, your votive offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock.7 There also you and your households shall eat before the Lord your God, and rejoice in all [e]your undertakings in which the Lord your God has blessed you.
8 “You shall not do at all what we are doing here today, every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes; 9 for you have not as yet come to the resting place and the inheritance which the Lord your God is giving you.10 When you cross the Jordan and live in the land which the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies around you so that you live in security, 11 then it shall come about that the place in which the Lord your God will choose for His name to dwell, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the [f]contribution of your hand, and all your choice votive offerings which you will vow to the Lord. 12 And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, since he has no portion or inheritance with you.
13 “Be careful that you do not offer your burnt offerings in every cultic place you see, 14 but in the place which the Lord chooses in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you.
15 “However, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your gates, [g]whatever you desire, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you; the unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle and the deer. 16 Only you shall not eat the blood; you are to pour it out on the ground like water. 17 You are not allowed to eat within your gates the tithe of your grain or new wine or oil, or the firstborn of your herd or flock, or any of your votive offerings which you vow, or your freewill offerings, or the [h]contribution of your hand. 18 But you shall eat them before the Lord your God in the place which the Lord your God will choose, you and your son and daughter, and your male and female servants, and the Levite who is within your gates; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God in all [i]your undertakings. 19 Be careful that you do not forsake the Levite [j]as long as you live in your land.
20 “When the Lord your God extends your border as He has promised you, and you say, ‘I will eat meat,’ because [k]you desire to eat meat, then you may eat meat, [l]whatever you desire. 21 If the place which the Lord your God chooses to put His name is too far from you, then you may slaughter of your herd and flock which the Lord has given you, as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your gates [m]whatever you desire. 22 Just as a gazelle or a deer is eaten, so you will eat it; the unclean and the clean alike may eat of it. 23 Only be sure not to eat the blood, for the blood is the [n]life, and you shall not eat the [o]life with the flesh. 24 You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the ground like water. 25 You shall not eat it, so that it may be well with you and your sons after you, for you will be doing what is right in the sight of the Lord. 26 Only your holy things which you may have and your votive offerings, you shall take and go to the place which the Lord chooses.27 And you shall offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, on the altar of the Lord your God; and the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of the Lord your God, and you shall eat the flesh.
28 “Be careful to listen to all these words which I command you, so that it may be well with you and your sons after you forever, for you will be doing what is good and right in the sight of YHVH your God.
29 “When the Lord your God cuts off before you the nations which you are going in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, 30 beware that you are not ensnared [p]to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, ‘How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?’ 31 You shall not behave thus toward the Lord your God, for every abominable act which the Lord hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods.
32 “[q]Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.
YHVH God is pretty clear that He is a jealous God who only wants us to worship HIm the Way He tells us to Worship Him. So, we need to be ever so careful to not do whatever we want to do. Be very careful to NOT worship God the way we want to, but only the Way He says is acceptable.
Consider taking the time to study the ten commandments one at a time and finding in scripture more verses to explain and understand each one completely. This is my personal challenge. I have been working on it for several years, and I still have so much to learn. But the journey is blessed.