There’s been a lot of debate through the years about having the Ten Commandments posted on government property.  There have been public arguments… err, “debates”… with valid points and counter-points being made.

Some claim that America is a “Christian” nation, and therefore the Commandments should be posted.  Others claim that it shows preference to one religion over another.  Still others argue that because they are the basis for our legal system, they shouldn’t be viewed as religious.  And I’m certain there are other arguments that I’m overlooking and forgetting about.

In all of this debate, however, I think there’s something that we forget.  The Ten Commandments aren’t rules for everybody.  God didn’t hand them down to the world; but to a people.  The Ten Commandments – like everything else in Scripture – need to be understood in context.  What is that context?

And God gave the people all these instructions: “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery” (Exodus 20:2).

The Ten Commandments are then given as a response to what God has done for the people.  Does he give these commands to the Canaanites? the Edomites? the Moabites? the Hittites? the Termites… okay, that last one may be made up, but you get the point.  God gives these commands to the Israelites based on the relationship that He established with them.

Truth is, the rules that govern our relationship with God and other people are given out of that relationship; a relationship that we cannot force on others.  Something to think about the next time you want to get bent out of shape about whether or not the Ten Commandments are posted on the county courthouse.

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