God wants to marry you - leaven and all. No matter what you've done, or where you've been, God is determined to make it right for you - that is what the 10 Commandments are all about.
The OT marriage covenant (and its Hebrew context), are used to understand some things Jesus said about his return, and about the rapture.
The introduction of the 10 commandments is considered from the perspective of a long line of slaves. So we get a day off? You can't kill me, or take my things, just because you're stronger than me? My human rights and dignity will be respected in our new culture? That is fantastic!
I want to talk to you tonight about the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20); but we have to make one ground rule really quick: in order to study God; and in order for the church, I believe, to get its credibility back - all of us have to lose our addiction to being right!
We're all "addicted to being right”. We could start our own 12 step program: Hi, my name is Shane, and I am an addict. I am an addict to ‘being right’; you are an addict to ‘being right’; and the worst addicts to ‘being right’, in the whole world, are: white Pentecostals!
Most of you look white; and 'Pentecostal - judging by how you just started this meeting. Everybody pray in the spirit for two minutes - that's pretty good. That means: you're white; you're Pentecostal - which means we are the worst in the world at thinking we have God figured out.
God does not expect us to have Him figured out! Jesus runs into people who were caught in the act of adultery. He runs into thieves on crosses. He runs into prostitutes in the middle of the night, and He's forgiving them. The people who really ticked Jesus off, were the ones who thought they had it all figured out - that they were in, and everyone else is out.
He goes into one place in Galilee, which was known for its orthodoxy. What they did is: they took the Torah - and then they made it harder; so they tried to live even harder; and because they were keeping the Torah better than everybody else, they thought they were saved. They actually called themselves: ‘The Remnant', 'The Chosen Ones', or 'The Elect'. We would never do that would we?
So they thought they were in, and everybody else was out; they were going to heaven, and everyone else was going to hell. So Jesus shows up, and they said: “Rabbi, are only a few going to be saved?” Of course, they mean them right; so basically they were trapping Jesus into agreeing with them.
Jesus - You tell us, are only a few going to be saved? Jesus gets so ticked-off, He says: at my marriage table, many will come from the north, east, south and west; but you who actually think you're in, will be the ones shut out - because you thought you were better than other people.
One of the things that the rabbis said - which I love: if we spent two hours tonight talking about God, if 95 per cent of what we said was wrong, God would still be pleased, just because we gave a night to talk about Him. God does not expect you to get it right, and let me show you why.... (gets out the whiteboard)
Let's be Gods for a second, alright? So I'm the Chairman of the Council of the Gods, and you are Gods (for the sake of our example). So I convene a meeting of the Council of the Gods, and I move that: because we're bored with each other, we're going to create something.
We choose to create people, and we'll call them Joe and Jane; and we make them perfect in our sight; they have all the mental and physical capacities that we do (to think). We make them in our image, and in our likeness. We say: that that is done; and we look back and we say: it is good, it is finished; what is still the problem with Joe and Jane?
There's still a problem with them: they're stuck on that board - their world is limited to what they can perceive in two dimensions. If I was to whisper in Joe's ear: Joe - in my world, I'm God; and in my world I can extend my arm out. Joe goes: that is unbelievable! Joe can't fathom a way that an arm can be extended out. Why? Because he is stuck in two-dimensions.
I whisper in Joe's ear: Joe - Jane is gorgeous, she's got nice curves. Joe looks over and says: she's just a line - I don't understand what you mean. Why? Because he's stuck in two dimensions.
If I wrote Joe a book about me; and I say things like: Joe, my ways are so high above your ways, you can't fathom it; “as high as the heavens or above the earth, so great are my ways above your ways”. Scientists tell us that the furthest star they know of is 12.3 billion light years away - that is a long way above us.