Written on Stone or in the Heart?
Above the audience chamber of the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., there are figures carved along the edges of the ceiling. One of those figures is holding stone tablets in his right hand. It is believed that the figure is of Moses and the Ten Commandments, the ancient moral code. Over the last few years, there has been an increasing controversy regarding the Ten Commandments. In fact the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court lost his job for refusing to remove the two-ton granite monument that sat in the rotunda of the state courthouse. It is one of thousands placed around the country during the 1950’s and 1960’s by the Fraternal Order of Eagles with the support of Cecil B. DeMille, the director, who was promoting his movie “The Ten Commandments.”
There seems to be a growing focus on removing the mention of God from the pledge of allegiance, and much of Bible truth is being eliminated from American life. Some individuals believe that removing the Ten Commandments from American public life has had an impact on our society. Such a conclusion is based on the increase of violence and the lack of morality as expressed in some of our music and movies. It seems as though things are getting worse and worse in our society. According to the Bible (2 Timothy 3: 1-5), the last days will be perilous. From the events occurring in society, it appears that we are currently living in those times.
It seems that people have practically no respect for law or constituted authority, either of God or of man! On the international scene, nations rise against nations as the so-called treaties of peace are not worth the paper on which they are written.
While the nation debates where the Ten Commandments should be displayed, it is interesting to note that in the Bible there is no mention of putting them on buildings of any kind. It does, however, mention that God wants them written in our hearts. This term “heart” in scripture is frequently used in referring to various attitudes, emotions, and intelligence. In Exodus 8:32 the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart indicated his attitude of rebellion against God (Hebrews 3:7-10). A stony heart describes a state of spiritual insensitivity and moral indifference (Ezekiel 11:19). God is able to give to us a new heart (Heb. 8:10) indicating a complete change of attitudes, desires, and ambitions (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Christ dwells in the heart by faith (Ephesians 3:17). In many passages in scripture where it mentions a person’s heart, it is basically referring to the seat of intelligence (mind). “I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” God writes His law in our minds that we might understand them and allow them to be the foundation of our thoughts and actions. The Ten Commandments speak of moral responsibility to God and to each other. When we review these precepts they reveal love for God and for one another.
Can our society gain from putting the Ten Commandments on public buildings as artifacts to be displayed? Society will gain from them only if people live by them and allow them to be a moral standard for behavior. If not, we will continue in spiritual chaos, lawlessness, and wretchedness in the human heart.
These commandments aren’t called the ten suggestions, ten recommendations, or the ten greatest ideas. They are the Law of God; and keeping them will give people of all nations peace, joy, and happiness. (Micah 4:2). This can only be accomplished with a relationship with the God of heaven through His Son Jesus The Christ.
Where will the Ten Commandments have the most influence, in a rotunda of a courthouse, on a public building, or in our hearts?Written by Carl Parker