I was driving through one of the counties of Indiana and happened to notice that I was in the county seat. Indiana has 92 different counties and as Janet and I travel on our rides throughout the state, we always enjoy stopping and looking at the courthouses that have been built, usually in the downtown areas in the center of the various counties. There was even a great coffee table book written years ago that highlighted the courthouses of Indiana – all 92 of them; and I wish that I had bought it years ago when I first saw it.
For those of you who may not be familiar with the recent headlines in the papers around the state, there have been quite a number of lawsuits filed against expressions of religion in public places and especially in the town squares where the courthouses are located. The ACLU has been proud of the record they have amassed by filing lawsuits against the various counties and groups who have chosen to desire public displays of religion on public property.
Not so long ago, a suit was filed against a public display of a large cross and the city, in retaliation, sold the small parcel of ground at the foot of the cross to a church so that the cross would not have to be dismantled. And even more recently, in Evansville, IN, there was to be a public display of crosses along the riverfront and an injunction was filed to prevent the construction of the “exhibit.” Although most of the community was in favor of the installation of the crosses, the suit was won by the opposition and the crosses were never erected.
So imagine my surprise when I drove past a courthouse square earlier today and there, in front of God and the world, was a depiction of the Ten Commandments – right out there on the front lawn. I honestly thought that all these sorts of public displays had been banished from the state. Obviously, I was wrong. And it made my day to think that in this age, we can still see these types of things in the public spaces of our cities and counties. In honor of this display, the verse for this evening is from Exodus, when Moses was delivered the Ten Commandments from God. We are told, in Exodus 34:28, “Moses was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments.”
What an incredible story for the people of God – a set of rules to pattern our lives after. God’s desire for us to honor Him, our families and one another. My encouragement this evening is that you will turn to the Ten Commandments as a set of lessons to learn in order to live more God centered lives. My prayer is that you will also read the New Testament and learn not only from God, but from the ways of His Son, Jesus Christ. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…