Insights in the First Commandment

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3

Who or what is at the center of our lives? This first commandment sets the foundation for the following nine commandments. It is a command that puts life in its’ proper order. It establishes God as supreme and mankind as His creation. It bring into focus the very purpose of mankind. This command is the very root from which a personal relationship with God can be experienced.

This command was given because the nature of man is to make or borrow a god of human invention. There are many so-called gods in the world competing for our attention and affection. Jehovah alone is worthy of glory, honor, and worship.

Pride makes a god of self, covetousness makes a god of materialism, sensuality makes a god of our own lusts. Whatever we love, respect, serve, delight in or depend on more than God – that thing becomes our god.

“I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols” (Isaiah 42:8).

God knows if we have set up another god in our hearts. It is a sin that raises a fist at God and dares Him to His face! To say that god takes such defiance seriously is an understatement.

Whatever man might contrive, invent, or imagine, the truth remains; there is none before, beside, or after God.

Some may say that this commandment indicates that God is self-centered and demanding. The contrary is true for two reasons.

  1. God created us. We are copyrighted in His very image! He reserves the right to all the credit.
  2. God loves and protects His most precious creation – people! We are selfish from birth. An infant is self consumed. It desires nothing more than to have his/her needs met. They are completely dependent. We all know what would become of an infant or small child left to themselves. They need their loving parents (who created him/her) to guide and train the child to maturity. Parents know best! Not the child! As God’s creation we are completely dependent on Him. Some may not want to acknowledge this (after all what did God ever do for them?), but to deny it is like a child denying the wisdom of a parent who has fenced them in the yard to protect them from the busy street. God know that if left to ourselves our gods would lead to our own demise and self-destruction! God created every person with a throne in their hearts. It was custom built for Him. Any other god will not fit or satisfy that space.

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