Thou Shalt Not. Period.

In the Old Testament (in Exodus), God gives Moses the Ten Commandments.  Then God gives an extended explanation of what the Ten Commandments mean in everyday life.  Sunday’s Old Testament reading is part of that explanation. 

Everyone has access to two Bibles – the actual Bible, and their own personal “I-don’t-read-it-but-I-know-what-it-says” edition of the Bible.  Some fans of the second one feel like the Bible in general (and the Old Testament in particular) is just a bunch of “Thou Shalt Nots” meant to keep people from enjoying themselves. 

To be fair, the actual Bible does have a lot of “Thou Shalt Nots.”  But Sunday’s Old Testament reading is a great example of the sort of “Thou Shalt Nots” that are in the actual Bible – and they're not what you might expect. 

More on this tomorrow.