Peculiar People and the Ten Commandments
And now if you will indeed hear my voice, and keep my covenant, ye shall be to me a peculiar people above all nations: for the whole earth is mine. Exodus 19:5 LXX Septuagint
The concept of covenant is a rather interesting notion. Unlike a contract, covenants are very personal. From a biblical perspective, a covenant is a relationship between two people who make binding promises to one another with the objective of realizing a common goal. The party of the first part is Yahuah. The parties of the second part are believers in Messiah – the peculiar1 people spoken of in Exodus 19:5.
The Ten Commandments are the standard by which we can measure whether we are truly living righteously. When we walk in obedience to these commands we can (by faith) reach the common goal of resurrection and eternal life in the Father’s Kingdom. Those committed to keeping Yah’s covenant and obeying these commandments are therefore considered to be His peculiar people.
The Character of Peculiar People
The word “peculiar” in Greek is periousios (G4041). It means that which is one’s own, belonging to one’s possessions, or a people selected by God from the other nations for His own possession. The Hebrew word for peculiar is segullah (H5459). It can mean a treasure, something special, a jewel, or valued possession.
Peculiar people have certain characteristics:
- They deny ungodliness and worldly lusts.
- They live sober, righteous, and godly lives.
- They are filled with joy and love for Yahuah, Yeshua, and their neighbors.
- They walk by faith.
- Their blessed hope is in the first resurrection.
Teaching us that by denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works.Titus 2:12-14 KJV
The Ten Commandments provide the fuel for denying ungodliness and set the standard for sober, righteous living. Unfortunately, many believers are being told by pastors that they are under a new covenant and the Ten Commandments no longer apply.
It is ironic however that even the secular judicial system uses the last five commandments as the basis for criminal convictions every day. A person choosing to break “the law of the land” ends up facing a judge – a stranger – who will decide their fate. The bottom line is every living, breathing person is subject to some kind of law.
The Ten Commandments provide the structure we need to live godly lives. Following this set of standards for sober, righteous living will help save us from a criminal conviction and keep us in covenant with Yah Most High.
The Destiny of Peculiar People
Peculiar people have a spiritual destiny rooted in faith and obedience.
- They anticipate the coming Kingdom of Yah and His Son here on earth.
- They will someday be ordained into Yeshua’s royal priesthood.
- They have been beneficiaries of the mercy of Yah.
- They take comfort in the fact that they are chosen people.
And ye shall be to me a royal priesthood, and a holy nation: These words shalt thou speak to the children of Israel.Exodus 19:5-6 LXX Septuagint
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of the darkness into His marvelous light: which at times were not a people but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.1 Peter 2:9-10 KJV
The word “mercy” is used twice in verse ten. It is the Greek word “eleeo” (G1653). It can mean “to have mercy on, to help one afflicted or seeking aid, to help the afflicted, to bring help to the wretched, or to experience mercy.”
Peculiar People Obey the Ten Commandments
The first three of the Ten Commandments teach us to honor our Creator.
- He is El Shaddai (Almighty God) the most powerful of all. We should have no other gods or false deities before Him.
- Yahuah is the only True Eternal Living Elohim and man should not make nor bow down and worship any man-made idols or false deities.
- We should not take Yahuah’s name in vain. Peculiar people give Him glory, honor, praise, and respect at all times.
The best place to start practicing peculiar behavior is to learn how to love the Almighty, His Son, and others. Hurting people may also need to forgive and learn to love themselves.
A fruitful life full of love, forgiveness, mercy, and grace is certainly doable for those who remember what Yeshua said in Mark 9:23 —
If you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes.
Peculiar people honor the fourth commandment which governs the seventh day of the week.
Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
Yahuah kept the Sabbath2 when He finished His six days of creation. Angels in Heaven guard (keep) the Sabbath along with our Heavenly Father and Yeshua, our High Priest.
And on the seventh day, God had finished His work of creation, so He rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy because it was the day when He rested from all His work of creation.Genesis 2:2-3 NLT
And all the angels of the presence, and the angels of sanctification, these two great classes- He has bidden us to guard the Sabbath with Him in heaven and on earth. And He said unto us: Behold, I will separate to myself a people from among all peoples, and these shall guard the Sabbath, and I will sanctify them unto Myself as My people and will bless them; as I have sanctified the Sabbath day and do sanctify it unto Myself, even so, will I bless them, and they shall be My people and I will be their God.Jubilees 2:18-19 R.H. Charles Translation
And thus He created therein a sign in accordance with which they should guard the Sabbath with us on the seventh day, to eat and to drink, and to bless Him who has created all things as He has blessed and sanctified unto Himself a peculiar people above all peoples and that they should guard the Sabbath together with us. And He caused His commands to ascend as a sweet savor acceptable before Him all the days.Jubilees 2:22-23 Cepher
Complete rest is found by building a faithful relationship with the Father and His Son by following the Ten Commandments and other Torah instructions found throughout the scriptures. These include the fifth commandment which says to honor your father and your mother.
Yeshua (Jesus) says:
“If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love.John 15:10 NASB
The good news for those living under the bondage of a sinful life is they can call out to Yahuah through His Son Yeshua our High Priest, and receive much-needed help. This perfect free aid package is the covenant found in Exodus 19:5-24:8. It is available to everyone seeking truth and mercy from our Heavenly Father and His Son. Peculiar people understand and trust these promises.
1 Most new translations use “special” in place of peculiar.
2 Most international languages use a form of the word “sabbath” for the name of the 7th day of the week. https://www.indifferentlanguages.com/words/sabbath