top of page

The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments, which were once revered, are now treated like a relic of the past. They are regarded by many as “ten suggestions,” or even worse, “ten irrelevant ideas!”

Brilliant sky with I AM, THE LORD YOUR GOD in the foreground.
I AM, Watercolor & Type, Sara Joseph

Vandalizing or removing their presence from public places, and mocking those who live by them, have become commonplace. However, obedience to these commandments remains mankind's only hope for a blessed life.

God rewards our adherence to them.

As an artist, I choose to exercise my liberty to declare them visually. I hold the view that they are immutable. You can break them at will—that freedom is granted to us. However, know this, while briefly liberating, it will exact a cost so dear that it's far wiser to obey!


“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." Exodus 20:2

The path from bondage to liberty is contingent on acknowledging God as the great I AM. As Creator of the universe, He is the God of the macro and micro, whales and germs, galaxies and stars, and regions beyond what the mind of man can conceive!

Life has purpose and meaning when He is obeyed.

Denying Him has cost us, evidenced by the mayhem and lawlessness in our world. The lack of a reverential fear of God lies at the heart of everything that's discordant in society. Attempting to break free from the commandments is nothing new, neither is mankind's stubborn refusal to gain wisdom from the consequences of repeated disobedience.

It is far easier to make our own rules, chart our own course and fly by the seat of our pants, than it is to obey them!



Watercolor painting of a couple being worshipped depicting a violation of the second commandment.
No Other Gods, Watercolor, Sara Joseph

"You shall have no other gods before me.

“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.

You shall not bow down to them or worship them;..."

Exodus 20:3-6

Beware of who, or what, you worship! Idolatry is a serious offense in God’s eyes.

The most prevalent form of idolatry is in the worship of self—the colossal ME—my needs, my opinions, my dreams, my ideas…

While God made us unique and truly wonderful, we will never be worthy of the praise that only He deserves. Mere human opinion is falsely elevated whenever God’s Word is ignored, dismissed or scoffed at.

Celebrating human accomplishment, without the tempering awareness of God’s hand in it, is a violation of this commandment.



Abstract Pen and Ink Drawing
Exalt His Name, Pen & Ink, Sara Joseph

“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain." Exodus 20:7

God is holy—a concept that we rarely contemplate or value in modern society. This commandment is far more than merely holding guilty those who curse God.

He takes very seriously the maligning of His character, nature and name.

Do not misrepresent Him, by killing, stealing or lying in His name.



The fourth commandment depicting a watercolor painting of a man leading his family to worship in a church
The Fourth Commandment, Watercolor, Sara Joseph

"Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy".

Exodus 20:8

The Sabbath day is meant to be a day of rest. It is often ignored in favor of athletic events, shopping, catching up on chores after a strenuous week...

Yet the commandment instructs us that it is a day to be set aside as holy. There's that unfamiliar word again! On the Sabbath we are to gather together to worship Him for His many blessings. It is to be a day to abstain from regular activity, trusting Him to care for us while we find refreshment in Him.

Ignoring this has cost us our health, peace and our sense of perspective. We've lost the ease and richness of a life lived in harmony with our Creator.



A watercolor landscape with an elderly couple walking down a path through trees.
The Fifth Commandment, Watercolor, Sara Joseph

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.  Exodus 20:12

In a world obsessed with youth and beauty, we are urged to remember our parents, who gave us life. Therefore, honor them in their golden years, while their bodies are frail, but their wisdom is vibrant—treasure to be respected and acquired.

This is the first commandment with a blessing—the expectation of a lengthy life.

That dishonoring our parents could result in a shortened life, seems strange and unrelated. We would rather work on health and fitness in exchange for longevity. But this commandment connects lengthy days on earth directly to the treatment of our parents.

One day, you too will grow old and long for honor from those who come after, who have lived less than you, and to whom you gave birth.



Watercolor abstract painting depicting the sixth commandment that forbids us to kill.
The Sixth Commandment, Watercolor, Sara Joseph

"Thou shalt not kill." Exodus 20:13

God places infinite value on every human life. He knows the hours ordained for each one. Beware of being a participant in snuffing out life, whether by direct action or your vote.



Watercolor painting of a couple with wedding rings and the words, "you shall not commit adultery".
The Seventh Commandment, Watercolor, Sara Joseph

Marriage is sacred. God treats the covenant made between a man and a woman seriously.

Breaking this commandment brings consequences that affect generations to come.

Marriage is between a man and a woman. Other options are neither mentioned nor considered as biblical marriage.



Graphic depicting the eighth commandment to not steal.
The Eighth Commandment, Digital, Sara Joseph

This needs no commentary, except that today stealing happens on such an outrageous scale!

Don’t steal anything belonging to anyone else, EVER—not things large, or things small, neither a pencil nor a staple, a straw nor a paper cup….

Oh, and please, don't steal credit that belongs to another...

Or art that someone else created.... There's much, much more, but you get it!



An abstract drawing in ink of a woman spewing lies.
The Ninth Commandment, Ink, Sara Joseph

“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor." Exodus 20:16

Watch the words of your mouth.

Don’t lie or gossip. It will weave a web of deceit so horrendous that you will never find your way out of it.

One day you will be called to account for every word ever spoken!



An image showing the eyes of a woman with the words, "You shall not covet."
The Tenth Commandment, Digital, Sara Joseph

“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”  Exodus 20:17

The sin of covetousness goes deep. Beware of the lust of your eyes and a passion for stuff.

Why covet when you could be blessed beyond measure by a God who promises much blessing if we heed His word?



Finally, Jesus gave two commandments, which if you obey will make the rest impossible to break!

A woman worshipping God.
The Greatest Commandment, Watercolor, Sara Joseph

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’;

and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Luke 10:27

There you have it!

Abstract watercolor painting depicting love for your neighbor.
Love Your Neighbor, Watercolor, Sara Joseph

Pithy instructions for living well.

Yet many squander their years consumed by an endless struggle against them, in a quest for the peace that only obedience guarantees.

May you choose His ways over any other!

Then live the life that He has promised to bless.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page