The Ten Commandments are summarized as follows (with broader understanding in parentheses):
1. You will not worship other gods.
2. You will not make any idols.
3. You will not make wrongful use of the Name of God.
4. You will observe the Sabbath and keep it holy.
5. You will honor your father and mother (and all lawful authority).
6. Do not murder (or hurt anybody).
7. Do not commit adultery (or commit any sexual sin).
8. Do not steal (or cheat).
9. Do not bear false witness (or lie, gossip, or misrepresent).
10. Do not covet anything that belongs to someone else.
There are two parts to this list:
Commandments 1-4 have to do with our relationship with God.
Commandments 5-10 have to do with our relationships with others.
If our relationship with God is good, our relationship with others should be good. If we have little or no relationship with God so we are not following the first four commandments, then our relationship with others won’t be as it should be and we will end up breaking most of the last six commandments.
God put into place the Ten Commandments so that we would be able to live the kind of life God intended for us: having the right relationship with God and one another. God wants us to have an orderly and caring society rather than anarchy and chaos. Because Europe and the Americas have a Judeo-Christian heritage, we see there a respect for life and a more humane society than is typically found elsewhere.
More on this topic in a future post.