2004-07-09 - The First Commandment
The Ten Commandments, Part 1
Exodus 20:3 You shall have no other gods before me (NASB)
Commentaries tell us that during the time Exodus was written, there was a polytheistic (more than one god worshipped) society, and this was a revoultionary concept, to have allegiance only one God-rather than trying to appease several gods. During later centuries (and some even today), people prayed to "Saints," even though the Bible says all who are saved are "Saints," and we need no mediator.
Quoting Martin Luther:
If any one had toothache, he fasted and honored St. Apollonia [[acerated his flesh by voluntary fasting to the honor of St. Apollonia]; if he was afraid of fire, he chose St. Lawrence as his helper in need; if he dreaded pestilence, he made a vow to St. Sebastian or Rochio, and a countless number of such abominations, where every one selected his own saint, worshiped him, and called for help to him in distress.
We may think "oh we don't have more than one god." We may not think of anything as our god, but anyone or anything to whom we give more love, thought, time or loyalty is our god.
If we continually miss church to go to an athletic event, that team is more of a god to us than the One we claim to worship.
If we spend our efforts trying to please a parent, friend or anyone - that person is more of a god to us than the Lord we should be aiming to please.
If we put our hopes of happiness in a person or a career - or anyone or anything, that person or thing is our god. Only a day-by-day relationship with God can bring us lasting joy.
If we hold back an area of life from God - thinking His word isn't relevant to the real world, that area (work ethics, a relationship or anything else), that facet of our life is our god, usurping His rightful place on the throne of our heart.
I challenge you (along with myself) to ask God to search our hearts and show us what or whom we need to "dethrone," in order to worship the one true God "in spirit and in truth."
Comments or Questions?