“Thou shalt…thou shalt not!” How these words thunder across the centuries! The Ten Commandments (literally “the ten words” Exodus 34.28; Deuteronomy 4.13; 10.4), based upon eternal and unchanging principles, deal with mankind’s basic problems of behavior and form a guide for the course of moral life. In an age of relativism they provide a certain and objective standard of righteousness.
The Ten Commandments have become the foundation of modern law and order. They are timeless and ageless. There has never been nor will there ever be an age or civilization when it will be right to commit murder, to steal, to commit adultery, or to lie. They were written by the finger of God on two tables of stone and are recorded twice in the Pentateuch, in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5.
The “ten words” were spoken by YHWH Himself from the summit of Mt. Sinai under the most awe-inspiring of circumstances. The early morning’s peace was shattered with thunder and lightning; a thick cloud blanketed the mountain out of which spoke the voice of a trumpet exceedingly loud. It is no wonder the people trembled as they faced that smoking and quaking mount. There was no greater day in history prior to the coming of the Son of God into the world than that day at Sinai when the LORD spoke “the ten words.”