The Top Ten List
I’m sitting here laughing at a show on TV. I got home from work somewhat late and right after dinner, Janet happened to be channel surfing as we were settling down to a quiet evening. Tomorrow will be a pretty busy day and so we thought we would just kick back tonight. However, Janet ran across a program that is highlighting the Top Ten Super Bowl commercials of all time. Throughout the years, Janet and I have watched, with interest, the commercials at the big game and we both admit that we really like the ones with the Budweiser Clydesdales. We have a soft spot for the animal commercials and even though neither one of us drinks alcohol, we can’t help but laugh at the various story lines the folks at Budweiser come up with. Without doubt, they are our favorite ones.
While there have been a huge number of new spots throughout the years, memorable stories like Mean Joe Greene seem to live on forever. Suffice it to say that in addition to the Top Ten there are many other commercials that are great but didn’t make the final cut. But we have been kept entertained for the past hour trying to guess which of the commercials is the greatest.
The whole thing reminds me of David Letterman and his Top Ten list each evening. Admittedly, I wonder how he keeps coming up with things after all these years. But even more than Letterman, whenever I hear about a Top Ten list, I think of the Ten Commandments from the Old Testament. But if you have been around for any length of time, you probably already guessed where I was going with this topic.
Now I would be less than honest if I let you think that God only had 10 rules for us to follow. If you want most of the list, you can try reading the book of Leviticus – but I want to warn you that you may fall asleep reading through all the laws. There were laws for almost everything – how men and women were to act, grounds for divorce, public stoning, eating clean and unclean foods, rules for the Sabbath, and a host of other commandments that seem archaic by today’s standards. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t important to God.
I think that’s why Moses received the Ten Commandments; a list of those things that God considered the most important. And if you are a student of studying the Old Testament, you will find that the Ten Commandments fall into one of two categories – our relationship with God and our relationship with one another. It is true that we actually received the commandments twice – first by God through Moses and then, when Moses saw the people sinning against God, he destroyed the tablets and went back to receive the Ten Commandments again from God. These ten requisites from God are the foundation of the Law for the people of God.
And God is consistent in His desire for us. We were given the Law as a way to affirm that we, as humans, were and are incapable of living a sinless life. In fact, the book of Galatians in the New Testament lets us know that the Law was a “schoolmaster” under which we lived until we were ready to enter the house of the Master – that is, to enter into the teaching of Jesus.
In the book of Luke, we are told the story of a man who asks Jesus what the most important commandment is. It’s kind of like wanting to know which commercial is the most important to those who watch the Super Bowl, although I hope you agree that the order of magnitude in the comparison is merely for illustrative purposes.
The verse for this evening is the response of Jesus when asked the question about the commandments. From Luke 10:27, we are told, “He answered: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’’” If you read the commandments from Exodus, you will see that the first commandments have to do with how we are to be in relationship with the Father. For example, “You shall have no other gods before me” and “Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy”. The final commandments, those that have to do with “Honor your father and your mother”, “Do not steal”, “Do not commit adultery”, etc. all can be summed up with “Love your neighbor”.
The essence of all this is that you can see that relationships are important to God; our relationship with Him and our relationship with one another. My encouragement this evening to that God wants you to enter into a deeper relationship with Him. My prayer is that you will heed the words of Jesus and you will also take a deeper interest in strengthening your relationships with your fellow man. By the way, know which commercial won the competition on TV this evening? Yep, the Clydesdales. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…