Text: Exodus 20:1-17
If I stopped you in the hallway after church, and in my most authoritative pastoral voice said: “Recite for me the 23rd Psalm,” what level of panic would set in for you? Or, what if I said, “Tell me the Lord’s Prayer without thinking about it.” I’m guessing a little anxiety might be created in that moment. I know it would for me. I have read the 23rd Psalm hundreds of times, most often at the graveside of some departed soul, but if you asked me to say it this very moment I’m sure I couldn’t do it without missing a line or two.
But if I pulled this same stunt after church, and asked you to tell me the Ten Commandments, I imagine you would feel a bit more confident. Especially since you just heard them read. But even if you hadn’t, you would probably launch right into answering the question because the Ten Commandments lend themselves to memorization. After all, there are ten of them so you don’t have to worry if you got them all. Plus, most of the commandments are common sense. Even if you had never heard of the Ten Commandments you could probably get four or five.