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Becoming More Like God
Since Moses had broken the tablets of the Ten Commandments in anger over the sinfulness of the people, God told him to make two new tablets of stone and to appear before Him again, while fasting for a second span of 40 days and 40 nights. God then wrote the Ten Commandments on the newly hewn tablets of stone. They were placed inside the Ark of the Covenant (verses 1-5). Moses impresses on Israel that God requires of them to "fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes...for your good" (verses 12-13).
Some think of God's commandments as harsh and burdensome. But His Word tells us that "His commandments are not burdensome" (1 John 5:3). And, as stated here, the things God commands us are for our own good. Today, the "ancient" standard given here is as modern and relevant as ever. But people can only live by it if they "circumcise the foreskins of [their] heart, and be stiff-necked no longer" (Deuteronomy 10:16)—or, in other words, if they become converted and receive God's Spirit, which will enable them to become more and more like God in their thinking and way of life. And God tells us here a little bit about His way of life—such as the fact that He "shows no partiality nor takes a bribe," and "administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing" (verses 17-18). Since we are to become perfect as God is (Matthew 5:48), we too are to "love the stranger" (Deuteronomy 10:19) and help the fatherless and the widow, without showing partiality (Psalm 82:3-4; Leviticus 19:15; James 3:17).