The 10 Commandments make frequent use of the phrase Thou shall not, and this leads many to see the Commandments as proof that God just wants to tell us what to do, rather than proof of His love for us.
But recently on Father Simon Says™, Father Richard Simon explained how we should view the 10 Commandments in light of God’s love, and why we should actually be grateful for them. He said:
“There are certain commandments that flow from the very nature of God. For instance:
God is faithfulness = You shall not commit adultery
God is generosity = You shall not steal or covet
God is truth = You shall not bear false witness
These commandments flow from His very nature, and thus are not changeable. There are 613 laws in the Torah, and we only follow 10 of them. Why? Because these are the ones that are not in any way arbitrary, not simply liturgical laws, not simply disciplinary laws. They flow from the nature of God.
So, what that means is that these 10 Commandments are gifts from God. They are, in a sense, a self-revelation of God. Jesus, who I always say is the Torah come to life, is the embodiment of that nature. So these are gifts, they are a sort of glimpse of the Messiah before the Messiah came.
Now, I don’t like stop signs. And I like stop lights even less. But I should be grateful to God every time I see a stop sign or stop light, because if it weren’t for road signs I would be road kill. These things are life savers.
God’s commandments are there to teach us the truth. These are given to us to show us how to live, how to prosper in the world. So you should be grateful to God for the commandments. But we have this idea that law is arbitrary, and some nasty, unkind Being is prohibiting all the fun stuff. And that’s not true.
If you would hearken to my Commandments, your prosperity would be like a river. These are not arbitrary things, these are the way that things work. And one should rejoice in them. That phrase, O Lord, I love your law is still quite applicable to the Christian. But we believe that Jesus, the Messiah, is the one who embodies the law, who teaches us how to fulfill it perfectly and completely.”
Listen to the full discussion below:
Father Simon Says airs weekdays at 2:00 p.m. Eastern/11:00 a.m. Pacific on Relevant Radio®.