Sermon Notes: Sunday, 9.29.19

9-29-19          Sermon Notes                       “The Ten Commandments: Part 2
I read recently that in 1631, King Charles I ordered 1,000 Bibles from an English printer named Robert Barker.  Well – printing was not an exact science in those days, and sometimes mistakes were made.  Usually, mistakes were just overlooked.  But…not in this case.
You see, Barker inadvertently left out a single word in the Seventh Commandment in Exodus 20: 14.  It was just a little three-lettered word…no big deal, right?  It was the word, “not.”  Readers were shocked (and maybe delighted?) to find that God had commanded Moses, “Thou shalt commit adultery” as opposed to “Thou shalt NOT commit adultery.”  King Charles was not amused by this mistake, and ordered all the Bible destroyed.  He fined Barker 300 pounds sterling (a lifetime’s wages in those days), and revoked his printing license so that Barker was totally out of business.
Not all the Bibles were destroyed – there are eleven known still to exist.  Because of the infamous mistake, this printing of the official King James Version is referred to as “The Wicked Bible.” (from the book, Stupid History, by Leland Gregory)
As much as we might like to, we just can’t rewrite the Ten Commandments.  They can’t be improved upon!  We can’t change them to “The Ten Recommendations.”
The first four commandments answer the question, “How do we relate to God?”  What about the last six commandments?  Let’s look at them:
12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
13 You shall not murder.
14 You shall not commit adultery.
15 You shall not steal.
16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
(Exodus 20: 12-17  NRSV)
The last six commandments deal with the question, “How do we relate to each other?”  These are just some simple, basic ways that we can live together in harmony.  And these are the foundation of what it means to live a life of integrity.  How does that play itself out?  I’ll give you an example from the world of golf.

Back in 1994, golfer Davis Love III called a one-stroke penalty on himself during the second round of the Western Open. He had moved his marker on a green to get it out of another player's putting line. One or two holes later, he couldn't remember if he had moved his ball back to its original spot. Since he was unsure, Love gave himself an extra stroke.  He saw it as a matter of keeping the command not to bear false witness.
As it turned out, that one stroke caused him to miss the cut and get knocked out of the tournament. If he had made the cut and then finished dead last, he would have earned $2000 for the week. When the year was over, Love was $590 short of automatically qualifying for the following year's Masters. He began 1995 needing to win a tournament to get into the event.

When someone asked how much it would bother him if he missed the Masters for calling a penalty on himself, Love's answer was simple: "How would I feel if I won the Masters and wondered for the rest of my life if I cheated to get in?"

Now, the story has a happy ending. The week before the 1995 Masters, Love qualified by winning a tournament in New Orleans. Then in the Masters he finished second, earning $237,600.
Join us Sunday as we look more deeply into commandments six through ten!

Pastor Sam

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