By: Michael Peebles
Date: February 21, 2013
The people heard from afar off as YHVH spoke from the fire and cloud or smoke which veiled his presence on mount Sinai. There the “ten commandments”; the ten words, or Aseret haDevarim, were delivered by the voice of YHVH himself. Ten is a significant number. They are commonly thought of as four and six, but another way of looking at the ten words, is as five and five. In this model, the first five have to do with relating to God, then the following five have to do with relationship to one’s neighbors. Let’s note that there were ten curtains fashioned for the tabernacle, coupled five and five.
Parents are in a special relationship with their Creator and their children. They are not simply “neighbors” to their children, to be loved as their children love themselves. They have a place of special honor, since they are chosen by God and accountable to him in a unique relationship. Elohim, the Almighty One, is Melech haOlam, the Sovereign King of the Universe – whose rule extends to the far distant reaches of space and time. He has his way of governing the world.
In a real sense, parents are the first government of God that we experience. It is a government with serious responsibility, and with real spiritual authority. It is not a place of unlimited power, but it is a real government consistent with the character and purpose of God; one that only works properly with self-sacrifice on the part of both parents and children.
Of course, parents are in fleshly tabernacles, and no matter how good their motives may be, their execution may not be very perfect. Worse, they may not even intend to please God much of the time. Still, as parents, we are accountable to YHVH for our use of that role, and as children we are accountable for giving due weight or consideration to our parents.
This instruction is the fifth of ten; it contains a two and a three. The two parents are in view to be given this special honor and consideration before God. The two concieve and bear a child, but the moment they become parents, they are in a relationship of three with the child. These three experience a lot of life together, and whether they like it or not, they bring a lot of the judgment of God into the world through the course of their lives as parents and children.
Yitro (Jethro) suggested to Moses that he consult with God, and then (if instructed to do so by God) divide the people for judgment into groups of tens, fifties, hundreds, and thousands. So, lets take up groups of ten people as our next point of consideration; here is a collection of some references to study and meditate in:
Abraham pled for Sodom to be spared in judgment if there were found ten righteous. (Gen 18:32)
When the judgment of YHVH was to come in famine as a penalty for national disobedience, the situation was to be that ten women would bake in one oven, and weigh out the bread to those who would be eating it. (Leviticus 26:26)
Twelve spies were sent in to the land of Canaan, but ten joined together and formed a group that brought an evil report. They prevailed in influencing the whole people, and a judgement went out from YHVH against the group of ten and all the people who accepted their testimony, which was against the purpose of God. Joshua and Caleb were two – the vindicated witnesses of God against the ten and against the nation. (Numbers 13 and 14)
Gideon took ten servants with him to pull down his father’s altar of Baal and its grove, then to offer the bull used for the work as a burnt sacrifice using the wood of the grove for fuel. (Judges 6)
David sent ten young men to greet Nabal as he was shearing his sheep. (1 Samuel 25:4)
When the kingdom of Israel was divided under Rehoboam, it was into ten tribes, and two. Jeroboam then led the ten tribes into idolatry. (1 Kings 12)
On a related (resonant) note, Daniel asked the royal servant in charge of their food to give himself and the three others with him ten days trial to judge if the simple diet would be better than the food from the king’s table. (Daniel 1)
Zechariah prophesied (Zechariah 8:23) that ten men of different nations and languages would come to Jerusalem to pray and seek YHVH, and would accompany one Jew.
James and John, and their mother, Zebedee’s wife, made a request that they be allowed to sit at the right and left hand of Yeshua in the Kingdom. This resulted in a temporary division of the disciples into groups of ten and two. (Matthew 20:20, Mark 10:35)
The parable of the virgins was of ten people, divided five and five. (Matthew 25:1)
Ten lepers were cleansed, the thankful one of whom was a stranger. (Luke 17:11)
In the parable, “Occupy till I come” was said to ten servants. They were given assets and later held accountable in judgment, by the master. (Luke 19:11)
Revelation is often harmonic with Daniel; is it a coincidence that in the letter to Smyrna, some were to be tried for ten days? They were admonished to be faithful unto death, to receive the crown of life. (Revelation 2:8)
Can we honestly say that we have given due consideration to these things? Do we have a track record of implementing these things in our lives, or are we perhaps secure in a delusion that there is only individual relationship with God?
Do we really mean it when we say “Thy Kingdom Come?”