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When I was ten years old, three ladies in the community where I grew up in Pike County, Kentucky, came faithfully to our school each week to teach us the Bible. They taught us who God was, who we were, and what His plan was for our lives. One of the things they taught us was to memorize the Ten Commandments. Then they told us God wanted us to obey those Commandments. So I decided I would obey the Ten Commandments. I committed myself to “Have no other gods” before God, my Creator. I committed to not steal or lie or desire what belonged to somebody else. I committed to always obey my parents. Was I in for an awakening! I found out that, try as I might, sooner or later, I would break one of those Ten Commands. And you see, our Bible teachers knew that’s exactly what would happen: Because that’s the very reason God gave those Commands.
Perhaps you’re thinking: “Don, I don’t understand. Why would God give us a command that we couldn’t keep?” He does so because He’s wiser than we are. You see, He knows that when we refused to let His life indwell us in the Garden of Eden, we received instead “darkness” to indwell us. That is; we lost our understanding of why we were alive. From then on, satan planted different ideas in our mind about who God was and why we were alive. As we believed his lies, we plunged into darkness about the reason for our existence. Selfishness replaced purpose. This would cause all of the hurt we, as mankind, would ever experience. But we wouldn’t be able to identify what was causing the hurt because we were deceived: In other words our understanding was darkened. This is exactly what Jeremiah 17:9 says,
“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: [but] who can know it?”
Thus, God gave the Ten Commandments through Moses. He wants us to try to keep those Commands so that we will find out there’s something bad wrong inside us—something that needs to be changed. That something is the selfishness that darkens our mind and causes us to consistently see everything through a “lens” of selfishness. When we try to obey the Ten Commandments we discover that, even though we’re made in the image of God, and thus, should be able to obey His commands—we can’t. This, in turn, causes us to look for a Deliverer: Someone Who can deliver us from our inbred selfishness and Who can enable us to live as God created us to originally live. This is why the New Testament teaches that
“The law is our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.”
Unless we discover there’s something wrong with us, we’ll never look for a Savior (the word Savior means “Deliverer”). This is why the Bible constantly tells parents to teach their children God’s Commandments.
The men who founded America had learned from the Bible this selfish principle was at work in man. This is why they created their civil governments with so many safety “checks” between the branches in those governments. James Madison, who wrote most of our national Constitution, would explain why they did it when he stated:
“…the primary political motive of man was self-interest, and that men, whether acting individually or collectively, were selfish and only imperfectly rational.”
Have you admitted the selfishness in you; and that you need Jesus to deliver you?
Think about it; because if you don’t, someone else will do your thinking for you—
and for your children! And you won’t like what that brings to you. I’m Don Pinson, this has been Think About It.