Lord’s Day Forty-Four

Questions 113-115

Things lead to things. The tenth commandment (from a narrow focus) addresses the issue of the first thing, the root cause. DPTPI example.

“Another possibility is that דמח, [chamad] as a verb meaning “desire obsessively, covet or lust after for oneself” and describing a mental and emotional process interior to a person’s being, was the deliberate and careful choice of a verb for the commandment that ends the ten words. Just as the first commandment, “You are not to have other gods,” provides the foundation for covenantal relationship, so this tenth commandment, “You are not to desire for yourself…,” describes the foundation for the severance of covenantal relationship. דמח is by choice a reference to an obsessive covetousness that could be the gateway to the violation of every other principle in the Decalogue.Thus coveting for oneself the gold and silver with which idols are decorated leads to idolatry, the violation of the first commandment. Desiring the “free love” of the fertility cults leads both to the worship of other gods and to sexual irresponsibility, the violation of the first and the seventh commandments (Isa 1:29). Yearning after the possessions of others may lead to stealing, a violation of the eighth commandment (Mic 2:2; Josh 7:21–26, which includes also a violation of the third commandment, since Achan had apparently sworn the oath of Yahweh-war loyalty).
Before Ahab’s obsessive desire for Naboth’s vineyard was satisfied, the ninth and sixth commandments had been broken (1 Kgs 21). Before David’s lust for Bathsheba was sated, the seventh, eight, and sixth commandments were broken (2 Sam 11–12). The coveting merchants of Amos’s day broke the fourth and the eighth commandments in their fever to possess (Amos 8:4–6). The citizens of Judah in Jeremiah’s time, deifying their desires and longing after a material and local security, violated the first, third, sixth, seventh, and ninth commandments, and above all, by making Yahweh’s temple into a fetish, the second commandment as well (Jer 7:1–15). And the son whose determined desire for his own way led him to strike (Exod 21:15) or abuse (Exod 21:17) his father or his mother was guilty of breaking the fifth commandment.

The tenth commandment thus functions as a kind of summary commandment, the violation of which is a first step that can lead to the violation of any one or all the rest of the commandments. As such, it is necessarily all-embracing and descriptive of an attitude rather than a deed. It was perhaps set last in the Decalogue precisely because of this uniquely comprehensive application.”
Exodus, Word Biblical Commentary, John Durham

What about the law of love?

“Taking the great central precept of the Old Dispensation — the love of God — He pointed out all its implications and made clear that the doctrine of the Fatherhood of God, so imperfectly grasped under the law of fear, was the immediate source of the doctrine of the brotherhood of men, which the Jews had never realized at all. He never tired of dwelling on the loving kindness and the tender providence of His Father, and He insisted equally on the duty of loving all men, summing up the whole of His ethical teaching in the observance of the law of love (Matthew 5:43; 22:40). This universal charity He designed to be the mark of His true followers (John 13:45), and in it, therefore, we must see the genuine Christian spirit, so distinct from everything that had hitherto been seen on earth that the precept which inspired it He called “new” (John 13:34).”Catholic Encyclopedia http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03712a.htm

“In the kingdom of the heavens there is a “royal law”, and James spells it out as the well-known commandment: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,”. The law of the Kingdom is not a long list of do’s and don’ts and religious taboos. It has just one great overall law, this law of love.

Let’s start back at the basics. The Kingdom of Heaven is a kingdom of love and when God’s will is done on earth as it is done in Heaven the result is a loving community of Spirit–filled believers like the Jerusalem church in Acts 2-5. The central Christian requirement is to love God, to love one another, to love the brethren, and to live in a way that builds other people up and which blesses their lives.”
John Edmiston, (Lecturer, Fuller Theological, etc.) http://aibi.gospelcom.net/eternity/eternity105.htm

Every religion teaches the Law of Love.

Hurt not others with that which pains yourself. Udanavarga 5.18.

Always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the Law and the Prophets. Bible, Matthew 7:12.

Do not unto others what you would not they should do unto you. Analects 15.23.

This is the sum of duty: Do nothing to others which if done to you, would cause you pain. Mahabharata 5.1517.

No one of you is a believer until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself. Traditions.

In happiness and suffering, in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self, and should therefore refrain from inflicting upon others such injury as would appear undesirable to us if inflicted upon ourselves. Yogashastra 2.20.

What is hurtful to yourself do not to your fellow man. That is the whole of the Torah and the remainder is but commentary. Go learn it. Talmud.

As you deem yourself so deem others. Then you will become a partner in partner to heaven. Kabir.

Regard your neighbor’s loss as your own loss. T’ai shang kan ying p’ien.

Reciprocation flows from Divine Law that can neither be ignored or put aside. Perhaps, the most important of these laws is the ‘law of love.’ Put simply, “Love is Law, Law is Love. God is Love, Love is God.” This amounts to the same thing as “the gift of giving” without the “hope of reward or pay,” or serving others. This ‘law of love’ is identified in many different ways–for example, in Wayne Baker’s new bestseller, “Achieving Success Through Social Capital” (Jossey-Bass), this law of love in the workplace is described as the “law of reciprocity.”The law of reciprocity is not what can best be described as “transactional reciprocity.” Baker says that, “Many people conceive of their business dealings as spot market exchanges–value given for value received, period. Nothing more, nothing less. This tit-for-tat mode of operation can produce success, but it doesn’t invoke the power of reciprocity and so fails to yield extraordinary success.”

Rule for Reciprocation:

“One of the most potent of the weapons of influence around us is the rule for reciprocation. The rule says that we should try to repay, in kind, what another person has provided us.”

Robert B. Cialdini, author of The Psychology of Persuasion (William Morrow, 1993)

Calvin, Institutes, Chapter 7

6. That the whole matter may be made clearer, let us take a succinct view of the office and use of the Moral Law. Now this office and use seems to me to consist of three parts. First, by exhibiting the righteousness of God – in other words, the righteousness which alone is acceptable to God – it admonishes every one of his own unrighteousness, certiorates [issues a writ against], convicts, and finally condemns him. …

10. The second office of the Law is, by means of its fearful denunciations and the consequent dread of punishment, to curb those who, unless forced, have no regard for rectitude and justice. Such persons are curbed not because their mind is inwardly moved and affected, but because, as if a bridle were laid upon them, they refrain their hands from external acts, and internally check the depravity which would otherwise petulantly burst forth. …

12. The third use of the Law (being also the principal use, and more closely connected with its proper end) has respect to believers in whose hearts the Spirit of God already flourishes and reigns. For although the Law is written and engraven on their hearts by the finger of God, …there are two ways in which they still profit in the Law. For it is the best instrument for enabling them daily to learn with greater truth and certainty what that will of the Lord is which they aspire to follow, and to confirm them in this knowledge; …Then, because we need not doctrine merely, but exhortation also, the servant of God will derive this further advantage from the Law: by frequently meditating upon it, he will be excited to obedience, and confirmed in it, and so drawn away from the slippery paths of sin.

13. Some unskilful persons, from not attending to this, boldly discard the whole law of Moses, and do away with both its Tables, imagining it unchristian to adhere to a doctrine which contains the ministration of death. Far from our thoughts be this profane notion. Moses has admirably shown that the Law, which can produce nothing but death in sinners, ought to have a better and more excellent effect upon the righteous.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s