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A little creak in my laptop sounded, as I lifted the lid (screen). The next day I noticed a tiny screw on the table the same color as my laptop. As I attempted to open the lid, the creak turned into a c-r-a-c-k-i-n-g noise--I noticed the keyboard was separated about one-half inch from the laptop’s bottom. Could one tiny screw cause this? I thought. I couldn’t even imagine a screwdriver small enough to install it.

Frustrated, because I faced a writing deadline, I hurried off to the office supply store. Fortunately, the laptop was under warranty. However, the model was discontinued, so the manager replaced it with a newer model because it couldn’t serve its purpose in a broken condition. It needed repair.

Yet, I kept thinking about that one little screw that was obviously vital to the machine holding together correctly. What about the importance of just one screw? Then, this thought came to mind: the importance each one of the 10 commandments listed in Exodus 20. What if just one commandment is broken? Not a big deal, eh? However, what happens to the rest of this obedience-chain that God designed as a protective mode for us?

God selects His designs carefully, including the Decalogue, which possesses a safety net while encompassing all respect to God and to the others we encounter in our lives. Each part counts. It only takes one break to render the chain unprofitable.

Element of Death

For instance, a lie told (false witness) creates a death of sorts within the human who tells it. Thus, that’s breaking two commandments (thou shalt not kill). If that lie is against the personhood of another, that person also endures a death within himself or herself. There isn’t any commandment breaking that doesn’t also bring with it an element of death. When we put other gods before Almighty God were killing our relationship with Him, just like the nails that were driven through Christ hands and feet at the cross. And only God can mend the brokenness, as He forgives us, when we confess to Him.

There are other commands in God’s Word yet they’re all tangents of the ten. Because of modern word use, the word command seems overly stringent to some. Other terminology that means the same in modern vernacular is: “rules of the road.”

God did us a favor when He wrote the rules of the road for us to travel on earth, because they’re a caring hedge of protection. He loves us—and like the good Father He is, He wants what is best for His children.

My computer couldn’t repair itself, I couldn’t repair it, even the computer techs at the store couldn’t fix it, it needed to be returned the manufacturer to be fixed. Just as only Jesus, our Creator, the One who made us, can fix us. However, we need to confess and return ourselves to Him; not only our Maker, but our Redeemer. The Bible says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23).

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By Betty Kossick. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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