Of course you may be one of those intellectual giants that says “There is no God!”.
God says regarding this phenomenon:
Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!
Psalms 14:1 (NLT)
The definition of fool is, by the way:
One who is lacking in reason, or the common powers of understanding; an idiot; an imbecile
That means that the intellectual atheists in the world don’t have “reason, or the common powers of understanding”. Without even getting into the scientific complexities or biological components that are inherently involved in our universe and all that is contained within it, it really does take an idiot to be able to convince themselves that there is no intelligence behind all of the beauty and fascination in this world, even if it is corrupted. Do you sometimes see this beauty? Imagine how beautiful the will and mind that brought this beauty into reality are.
Our knowledge is incomplete and our ability to speak what God has revealed is incomplete. But when what is complete comes, then what is incomplete will no longer be used. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I no longer used childish ways. Now we see a blurred image in a mirror. Then we will see very clearly. Now my knowledge is incomplete. Then I will have complete knowledge as God has complete knowledge of me.
1 Cor 13:9-12 (GW)
At this time we have an incredibly limited, obscured view of who God is through His creation, which once again has been tainted by our own sin. Many throughout history have been foolish enough to actually ignore the Creator Himself and chose to worship the creation, even though God’s creation is infinitely inferior. They are abusing the inbred instinct to worship their Creator, by diverting their own attention to their surroundings instead, or even creating their own lifeless gods.
While claiming to be wise, they became fools. They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for statues that looked like mortal humans, birds, animals, and snakes. For this reason God allowed their lusts to control them.
Romans 1:22-24 (GW)
God is referred to in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament by many names. Each name has a specific meaning, or represents a specific aspect of God. This points out to us just how diverse God is, and how many roles He fills in regards to his creation. Many of the titles or names refer to the human aspects of Jesus (Son of Man, Offspring of David), while some point to his Godhood (Lord of All, Almighty). There is nothing within creation that falls outside of God. He is the reason behind everything. And even what is evil was originally created by God, albeit lacking the qualities that came about as a result of our sin.
The main theme of this writing is actually regarding what God expects from us, if He is the one who brought all of Creation into reality. He is the ultimate authority, so what are His rules? The place to start is actually a very well known component of the bible. And as unfamiliar as most people are with the details, we have surely heard of the Ten Commandments. But how many people can even name five of them, much less all ten? I find this to be a sad testimony of where we are as a people. Many professing Christians can’t even name all ten. Yet we claim to “know God”. How can you know something or someone if you don’t know anything about that particular subject? To me, it is perfectly sensible to want to know what our Creator expects from us and who He is.
You must not have any other god but me.
Deut 5:7 (NLT)
Straight forward, but very selectively interpreted. Clearly the word “god” does not only refer to a traditional deity or religious figure. It is anything that you spend your time, money, energy and thought on. This of course, if dissected within our own lives, makes it clear that we “worship” multiple things above God. We are told that we should love God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength.
You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind, or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.
Deut 5:8 (NLT)
An idol also does not have to be in the form of a statue or image. For instance “American Idol” is a reference to someone who is idolized by their fans, or fanatics. We can turn anything into an idol. Of course it can be practiced in a literal form as well. It is easy for those of us in developed countries to take this form of idolatry for granted. But elsewhere in the world many people actually do worship idols, or view certain objects, animals, or humans as divine, or a god. We find throughout the Old as well as the New Testament instances of idol worship, even within advanced civilizations (Rome, Babylon). We even find in the book of Revelation, that in the end of our time here, the entire world will worship the “beast”, or Antichrist. He will demand it, and through his charisma, and apparent supernatural powers, will receive it. Many will know who he is and the consequences of worshipping him and will therefore refuse. They will also be killed as a result.
You must not misuse the name of the Lord your God. The Lord will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.
Deut 5:11 (NLT)
This commandment is based on respect toward God. It is very disrespectful for anyone to use God’s name in any way that has nothing to do with who He is. How would you like it if someone used your name as a cuss word, or an exclamation of anger?
Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you.
Deut 5:12 (NLT)
Originally the Sabbath was on Saturday. But it also refers to a general day of rest. Jesus said that man is not created for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for men. What happens if we work every day of the week, without taking a day off? We become stressed out, tired, moody, irritable, and worst of all, distracted from God. The Christians began observing Sunday as their own traditional day of rest to devote their time to communal worship and studying the word of God. It symbolizes the resurrection of Jesus taking place on a Sunday, and as a result the gift of eternal life through Him to us.
Honor your father and mother, as the Lord your God commanded you. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
Deut 5:16 (NLT)
This might seem very difficult for those of us who have been brought up in less than ideal circumstances, but we are told that if we follow this commandment, it will only be to our advantage. This is the first commandment with a promise from God.
You must not murder.
Deut 5:17 (NLT)
We may find this to be a no brainer, but wait! Jesus also told us that if we attack someone verbally, it is no different than sticking a screwdriver in their neck. Character assassination and gossip are also a form of murdering someone.
You must not commit adultery
Deut 5:18 (NLT)
If it wasn’t for the fine print, most of us could skate right past this one. But what most of us are ignorant of is what God views as adultery. It’s not only the act of a married person being involved in any form of sexual activity with any other person that they are not married to, but it applies to any sexual activity involving people who are not married to each other. This of course completely changes the scope of the commandment. In other words, consensual sex between an unmarried man and woman, woman and woman, man and man …. It’s all the same to God. And on top of this, Jesus said that if we look at someone that we are not married to, and picture them naked, or imagine what they would be like in bed, we are then committing adultery as well! Life’s rough huh?
You must not steal
Deut 5:19 (NLT)
Shoplifting is included. And maybe borrowing things from your friends or family and not returning them too.
You must not testify falsely against your neighbor
Deut 5:20 (NLT)
I believe that the meaning of this commandment goes beyond testifying in court that your next door neighbor did something that they didn’t actually do. Testifying falsely just means saying something that is not true. And your neighbor just means anyone in your general vicinity. Therefore this would bring us to the conclusion that we are not supposed to say things that are not true about anyone else. Lying. This includes gossip, or passing on rumors as well.
You must not covet your neighbor’s wife. You must not covet your neighbor’s house or land, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor
Deut 5:21 (NLT)
Covet is just one of those bible words that we don’t commonly use anymore, but the actual meaning of the word is “desire” or “lust after”. Envying someone else for anything that is theirs falls into this category. But I believe that we can also covet someone else’s talent, skills, looks, or circumstances. We are not to grumble when someone else is successful. God wants us to be content in who we are and what we have. If you feel like God is giving you less than you deserve, it’s very questionable that you know Him well.