God gives the Ten Commandments by His own voice to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 20:1-2. “And God spoke all these words, saying, ‘I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.'” Just after declaring this to the people listening to his words, the first command he gives to the people is to have no other gods before him. “You shall have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20:3, ESV) We must be on guard against the desire or want to put others in place of the true God.
In researching for this study, it was interesting to discover the many gods that were worshiped in Egypt where God had just delivered the Israelite people. The ten plagues the Egyptians suffered through was a demonstration of the power of God over all the other gods of Egypt and would also point us to the destruction of having other gods ruling over our life. The chart below is from http://www.biblecharts.org/oldtestament/thetenplagues.pdf if you would like to check out other charts they have listed.
It’s interesting to see how each plague can be pointed to one, or several, gods and goddesses of the Egyptians. In thinking upon that, it’s easy to think about the first command as not only a command, but as a reminder to the Israelite people what God had previously done in Egypt for their freedom from slavery.
In this reminder to the Israelites, it goes to show just how easy it is to create and make our own little gods and goddesses to explain the mysteries and activities in the universe. “Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” (Romans 1:22-23, ESV). This passage can also apply to the second command, but I’ll blog more on that in the next blog post. God does not want to coexist with any other man made god or goddess. I keep seeing bumper stickers with coexist and interfaith and various symbols in an attempt to meld all religions and faiths together as okay and true. There is one true God and that is the God of Jacob, Abraham, and Isaac from the Bible.
In Exodus 7:1-7, God gave Moses the words to say to Aaron who in turn states it to the Pharaoh. In theses verses, we are told that God himself will harden Pharaoh’s heart and God will multiply His signs and wonders in the land of Egypt. God’s power and strength is on display for all the Israelites and those who would later read the accounts see the power. God made the point that He is the only god and that we should worship no other.
The beauty in the first command is God has liberated His people from the thought they must worship other gods and goddesses alongside or instead of the true God. Because of this command, the people can be fully devoted and focused on giving their full attention and obedience to God alone.
Have you put God first in your life, or are you still holding onto the little gods and goddesses you have created? It is impossible for an unbeliever to hold to the first commandment if God is not your focus. Believers worship and focus on the true God because it is a desire and an act of obedience to live for the one True God.
Romans 10:8-13 reminds us:
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
If you have heard the Word of the Lord, then he word is near you in your mouth and in your heart. If you confess with you mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him [Christ] from the dead You Will Be Saved!