The First Commandment
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Let us examine ourselves this morning in light of the first commandment:
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 20:2-3).
We shouldn’t think that the only way in which it is possible to violate this commandment is by formally confessing allegiance to some other god, like Baal or Thor, or Vishnu or Allah. It is not only those things that are actually called gods or thought of as gods that can take the place of the Lord our God in our thinking. Whatever is loved, feared, trusted in, or obeyed more than God, has in effect become a god to us.
Whatever has the first place in our affections has the place that only the Lord our God should have.
Whatever we most fear, if not God, has an influence over us that only God should have.
Likewise with regard to what we most trust—that person or thing in which we have the most confidence—if not God.
Whatever has a greater influence in the formation of our thinking, in the shaping of our character, and the directing of our behavior, has the place that only God should have.
And so I ask you, is there anyone or anything that you love more than God? Is there anyone or anything that you fear more than God? Is there anyone or anything that you trust in or obey more than God?