“The Ten Commandments” was written for “The Word” project to cover the pivotal nature of the Law in the Bible.
You can’t really do a big picture of the Bible without addressing the Law – especially the Ten Commandments. Not only is it a foundational portion of the Old Testament, but it still guides the early Church.
People have unfortunately misunderstood the 10 Commandments, and that is why it was so important to include.
- I knew the song needed to be short. It would be more linear than verse/chorus type of structure.
- It needed to start with Israel’s relationship with the LORD. The narrative shows us that God had a relationship with the people, rescued the people, and then he gave rules to the people. If you understand that progression, you understand one of the most critical portions of Scripture.
- I wanted to include all 10 commandments but we would have to rephrase some of the lines to make it work musically. It seems to have worked since my 3-year-old can sing the 10 Commandments now!
- I wanted the listing of the 10 Commandments to sound different musically than the intro and conclusion of the song. I also wanted the vertical commands (1-4, our relationship with God) to sound different musically than the horizontal commands (5-10, our relationship with others). While the piece sounds together, it definitely has a feel of progression about it.
- This song was the last song we worked on. In fact, when we did a preview service for about 50 volunteers, the majority of our team had not heard it yet because it had been written days before. They heard for the first time when others did which was one of the reasons it was stripped down (the other was context driven – Moses received these commandments at first by himself and we tried to make it feel that way).
- It also ends with a look forward to the journey through the wilderness.
- The song was intentionally not the song with the most memorable hook, but it is one of the more intricate chording and melody progressions of the entire project.
- I wanted the song to sound different than others and that is why I chose the hammered dulcimer to be the focal instrument. Sounds a bit Middle Eastern if played right and definitely sounds organic.
Chord Chart: The Ten Commandments – D
O LORD, you set us free
Your covenant we will keep
Your voice we’ll obey
For we have heard you say
No other gods before me
Never bow down in idolatry
Do not take my name in vain
Always remember the Sabbath day
Honor your father and your mother
Never take the life of another
Do not commit adultery
Never steal another’s things
Tell the truth and the truth alone
Never covet what is not your own
Onward to the Promised Land
Help us keep your commands
- Let There Be (Creation)
- How We’ve Fallen (The Fall)
- No One Like Our God (Exodus)
- The Ten Commandments (Law)
- Our God Is With Us (Covenant)
- Enter His Gates (Psalms)
- Return to Me (Prophets)
- How Long O LORD (Exile)
- Fear Not (Incarnation)
- Amazed (Jesus’ Ministry)
- What a Savior (Passion Week)
- Come Holy Spirit (Pentecost)
- Day By Day (Church)
- You Alone Are God (Trinity)
- Your Word (Epistles)
- Faithful and True (Revelation)