When I was in my teens, I was introduced to what it meant to live by a code. I was taught that it was important to have a set of guiding principles by which to live your life. I didn’t know then how much they would shape my life and help me through making decisions. All these years later I still have the code memorized and think of the characteristics often. They are still the words I live by because they are so fundamental. These words apply to my mental, physical and spiritual life. They are: alert, clean, honest, courageous, loyal, courteous, obedient and spiritual. Each has its own saying that defines it and how I should live.
When the Israelites were freed from slavery in Egypt, they didn’t have a code to live by. After living in Egypt and slavery for so long, their guiding principles were what the Egyptians told them to do. So the first place God led them to was Mount Sinai to meet with them and to give them some principles to live by. Today, we call them the Ten Commandments. You can find them in Exodus 20. These commandments were a set of rules to live by to ensure that people did the right thing by God, themselves and others if only they would follow them. He further defined the Law through Leviticus, but these were the core ones to guide their lives.
Today, we have the entire Bible to show us how to live. Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (NLT). The word “hidden” means to store up and treasure as your most valuable possession to the point that it governs your life. God’s Word is not just a mere set of morally good ideas and principles that we should just read. It’s inspired by God and is to be used for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). It is what we need to treasure above all other things in our heart because of the eternal impacts it has on us. When we value it and place it in a position in our life to govern our decisions, we will live the way God called us to. It is our Code for living.