The Commandments and Character of God
Commandments are not just prohibitions, they are also permissions. They are restrictive and affirming. You shall not murder (Exodus 20:13). The restriction is from taking human life. The affirmation is that man has the right to live. Do not kill. Live. Human life is unique and should be respected.
The commandments reveal the character of God. In telling us what we should not do, He reveals to us what He is like. He is not like the other gods. Other gods demand that you sacrifice your babies. The God of Israel and Creation loves your child. He loves it when men and women fall in love, devote themselves to one another in marriage, and remain faithful. He protects His name and He has also taken care to protect yours. People should not take His name in vain and they should not tell lies about you.
The commandments of God reveal that He is good. Because He is good, He is not passive. He is aggressive to protect His name, His glory, human life, property, and reputation. He will not hold guiltless those who break His commandments. Good people do not allow others to be victimized. They are serious about standing for what is right. Being tolerant and passive is not necessarily good. There are lives, reputations, properties, and marriages that will be victimized if people are not aggressively and decisively good. The fact that God so severely punishes sin does not say that He is cantankerous, moody, or arrogant; it says only that He is decisively good.
When you read the commandments of God you will see clearly what you and I “should not.” Yet, do not miss in the commandments what God is. His commandments reveal His character. He has expressed Himself in what He restricts and permits; in what He prohibits and affirms. He is not like the other gods. He is unique. He has a name like no other name. He is self existent. He is Holy. He is passionate about the family. He loves human life. He desires for your marriage to be wonderful, full of love and trust. He cares about your stuff. He cares about your name. He will supply your needs. He is good.