March 9, 2018

Exodus 20:1–17 (NLT) — 1 Then God gave the people all these instructions: 2 “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. 3 “You must not have any other god but me. 4 “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. 5 You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods. I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected—even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me. 6 But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands. 7 “You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name. 8 “Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 You have six days each week for your ordinary work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath day of rest dedicated to the Lord your God. On that day no one in your household may do any work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy. 12 “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you. 13 “You must not murder. 14 “You must not commit adultery. 15 “You must not steal. 16 “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor. 17 “You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.”

Across the street from my house is McKinley School. It is where parents bring their children for kindergarten. Around the playground is a tall fence which is meant to keep the children safe. It keeps them from wandering out into the streets and away from passing cars. It keeps them from having contact with strangers who may not have their best interests at heart. You might sum it up and say that the fence keeps them out of trouble. And the fence also keeps trouble from coming in to them. The children may wish the fence wasn’t there but that fence is a good protective boundary and inside it the children are free to play to their hearts content without any fears.

I think through the years the Ten Commandments have gotten a bad rap. Where ever the commandments have been posted it seems like people have torn them down or are in the process of tearing them down. Perhaps if they were looked at as a good protective fence the attitude towards them might change. After all I have never seen anyone protesting the fence at McKinley. I have never seen people come to tear the fence down. No, everyone has an appreciation for that fence because they know that within that fence their children are safe.

Just think what would happen if everyone stayed within the fence of the commandments. God would have first place in people’s lives. Sundays would become a day of much needed rest. Christ would no longer be a swear word and God wouldn’t be called on to damn so many things. Parents would be worthy of honor and families would stay together. There would be no homeless people. We could play to our hearts content because there would be no fear of school shootings, no marital unfaithfulness, no locks on our doors and everyone’s word could be trusted.

There is an old country song entitled, “Don’t fence me in.” It means don’t contain me. Don’t box me in. I want to be free. To go, do, be what I want. People don’t realize that it is behind the fence that they are truly free and they can roam in confidence and safety.  

What America really needs instead of a wall on our Southern border is a fence; the fence of the Ten Commandments which would extend around all of our borders and our hearts. Lets pray that our nation’s leaders would be into fence building.

Be Inspired Hilltop!

P.S. Have a great fenced in weekend:)


  1. Mary Anne Frank says

    What a wonderful illustration of this well known passage of scripture. As a parent living in South Minneapolis on a busy street I insisted on having a fence around our back yard. It was there for all the reasons you pointed out. I loved my girls and wanted them to be safe. God’s way is always the way of love for us. Please Lord, fence me in and give me grace to stay inside the fence where I am safe.

  2. Adam and Eve looked outside the fence and only saw what they thought they were missing out on instead of realizing the blanket of security God had provided. Didn’t prove so well…was much more than a bad idea…and still is! The consequences of one going beyond the fence are far reaching yet today. Yes Lord, I ask for your grace as well to see your protective hand take mine when I want to reach outside your fence.