In the beginning, God gave us the 10 commandments and depending on which book and which version of the bible you read, they go something like this:
- You shall have no other gods before me.
- Do not make idols
- Do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
- Remember to keep holy the sabbath day.
- Honor your father and mother
- You shall not kill.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- Do not steal
- Do not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet
The Commandments God Broke
How good was god at keeping his own commandments? (you know, what’s good for the goose and all that).
You shall have no other gods before me.
To be fair it would be pretty tough for God to break this one. I guess I would just have to ask which other gods he was referring to. The bible clearly refers to Yahweh as one of many gods on a number of occasions! Here are a few:
Psalm 82:5 The gods know nothing, they understand nothing. They walk about in darkness.
Psalm 86:8: There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.
Exodus 12:12 and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the lord.
It begs the question: If there are so many gods, which one should we choose?
Do not make idols
How did god do with this commandment? You would think it would be pretty straight-forward to stay in the clear on this one. The instruction is pretty explicit.
Exodus 20:4 You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
So, what does God do?
Genesis 1:26-28 Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him.
From this, could it be argued that god himself made the ultimate idol in Jesus? A version of himself on earth that is worshipped in his place or as a proxy?
Once again notice how the text suggest multiple gods. “let us make man in our image, after our likeness”
Do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
I guess that unless god used his own name in vain this would be a hard one to break.
Remember to keep holy the sabbath day.
Whilst Christians will find every excuse in the book as to why Jesus was not breaking the sabbath, god was (apparently) pretty clear when it came to this poor guy who was collecting wood.
Numbers 15:32-36 And while the children of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man that gathered sticks upon the sabbath day. And they that found him gathering sticks brought him unto Moses and Aaron, and unto all the congregation. And they put him in ward, because it was not declared what should be done to him. And the Lord said unto Moses, the man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp.
This was for gathering sticks! Presumably to make a fire to keep himself warm in winter. And god gave direct instructions to have this man killed.
Matthew 12:10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?”
So, god evidently had a note from his parents which allowed him to break the rules without getting into trouble. The same went for his disciples whom Jesus defended when they picked grain on the sabbath.
Luke 6:1-5 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” Jesus answered them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.
Jesus was saying because he was there, everyone was in the clear which sounds like a copout. Since we are told god is everywhere does this not mean everyone would be safe?
Pick grain…collect sticks…sounds like a technicality to me!
Honour your father and your mother
Let’s put aside the parenting skills of Mary and Joseph who travelled for a day before missing their son. Jesus stays behind in Jerusalem, obviously upsetting his parents. Did he not know they would come looking for him and that they would be concerned about him?
Luke 2:41-50 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
Wow, he didn’t look for his parents for 4 days? Didn’t think they would be worried? Didn’t know that they would have expected him to be with them?
Then how about this one?
Luke 14:26 If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
Or this one.
Matthew 10:37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
You shall not kill
Damn! This is a real disaster zone for the creator. Where should I start?
God drowned the planet (Genesis 6:7).
He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah by fire and brimstone (Genesis 19:23-25)
He smote the Egyptians, killing their firstborn sons (after first hardening Pharaoh’s heart just to make sure he got to have his fun) (Exodus 12:29).
God seemingly, killed, turned to salt, drowned, cursed (plagues) and flamed at will. But most of all, he liked to smite. He did a lot of smiting.
In fact, according to the bible, Satan comes a very distant second when it comes to bloodthirstiness! For a comprehensive list of the genocide, click here.
You shall not commit adultery
God has a child with another man’s wife. Joseph and Mary were pledged to be married at the time! (Luke 1:26-27)
According to Leviticus 20:10, this is a crime that god says is punishable by death.
Deuteronomy 22:22 confirms this punishment.
Jesus, obviously realizing his dad has painted himself into a bit of a corner, softens this stance when a woman is brought before him who has been accused of adultery.
John 8:10-11 Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.
Talk about a dramatic shift in policy.
Do not steal
Apart from the adultery we’ve covered above, which by definition is stealing another man’s wife, there are a few other accounts mentioned.
Matthew 8:28-34 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?” Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.” He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.
Presumably these pigs belonged to someone and equally Jesus would have known the result of his actions. Abuse of another’s property is theft.
Luke 19:29-34 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They replied, “The Lord needs it.”
So Jesus clearly steals the donkey. Who but the owner would tie it up? Certainly, Jesus didn’t ask for permission.
Do not bear false witness against your neighbor
This is essentially about lying. Does god lie? There is a great article that sums up god's record on this commandment and instead of repeating it, why don't you have a read here on Patheos.com.
That doesn't look so good for the creator now does it?
You shall not covet
Another word for "covetous" is "jealousy".
Exodus 20:5 I am a jealous god.
Exodus 34:14 Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
Deuteronomy 4:24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
And just to confirm that jealousy is not a positive trait…
James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.
You be the judge
All in all I think God’s scorecard looks pretty bleak, especially for someone who had the power to tip the rule-book in his favour. He may well have thought about focusing his attention elsewhere!
Seems like god did forge us in his own image after all. Imperfect beings that we are!