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. You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:1–3
Q: What is the first commandment?
A: You shall have no other gods before me.
What does this mean?
We should worship, love, and trust in God more than anything else.
The word and can be a dangerous word. If you are eating birthday cake and the person who made it tells you that it’s birthday cake and just a little bit of poison was added as well, that creates a huge problem for those who are eating it. Who would want to eat that?!
Consider the following phrases: “I love to take tests at school and cheat just a little bit.” “I like to drive cars and drink alcohol while I drive.” “I like to live as a Christian and disobey God.” Don’t these statements sound ridiculous, unsafe, and counterproductive? Certain things should never be mixed, like test taking and cheating, drinking and driving, and worshiping and sinning. Make sense?
God wants to communicate the same thing with our worship. We can’t say that we love God and love false gods at the same time. They are mutually exclusive: one cancels out the other.
Consider Matthew 6:24:
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
- How does this verse relate to what was just read?
- How does this verse relate to the first commandment?
- Why is it easy to worship money?
- Why does good money make a really bad god?
Our Father, may we love and serve You alone. May You banish competing idols from our view and draw our gaze to You and You alone. Help us when we fail. Teach us the blessing of loving and serving You alone. We need Your help because we live in a sin-sick world with false gods all around us. Apart from You, we can do nothing. Hold us close. In Jesus’ name. Amen.