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What’s in a Commandment #1 No Other Gods Before Me

I’m revisiting the 10 Commandments again.  I love these commandments.  They really make me realize that I DO need a Savior.  Take a little time and think about the following post.

Of late, I’ve wanted to look more deeply into the foundation of the Law, the 10 Commandments.  I’m not sure why, as often is the case, so maybe some interesting insights will present themselves.  What got me thinking about the Law is some scripture in the New Testament.  James wrote something that I haven’t run across in a while, yet is most important.  James is writing to the “scattered” 12 Jewish tribes of believers, discussing prejudice.

From James 2:8-11 (NLT)

8 Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 9 But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.

10 For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.11 For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.” So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law.

Often, I’ve heard even the most devout Christian wrongly interpret the impact of sin.  AS it reads in verse 10, any breaking of the law equates to breaking all the laws.  Why?  Because sin is sin, there is essentially no difference in the eyes of a Holy, Holy, Holy God.

So, I want to take it a step further and truly show the reality of sin.  We’ll start with the first commandment as written in Exodus 20 and defined by the typical Protestant church.  (Note, some scholars combine commandments 1-2 or 9-10 and use “I am the Lord your God” as the first commandment).

1.  You shall have no other gods before me.

This command seems simple enough.  Let’s look at a reverse meaning.  “I shall be the only god first in your life.”  Can we truly make it so simple?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  What is a “god”, small “g”.  Something we put our faith in, something we worship or love above all else.  Could it be money, stuff, people?  Sure!  God, YHWH, is to be first.

If we place our golf game before worship of God, then who or what is first?

If we place NFL football before our relationship with God, then who or what is first?

If we place sleep, cleaning up the house, work, family time or eating before our relationship with God, then who or what is first?

Here’s the kicker.  Have we ever placed someone or something before God, even just once in our lives? Don’t lie to yourself.  What’s the answer?  Just once, No, Yes?  Now go back up and read James 2:10.  Sure makes me start to like the idea of Jesus stepping in to “pay my fine”.

Man, we’ve only looked at one of the 10 commandments!  Next post, #2.


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