Read Exodus 20:1-21
The 10 Commandments are familiar to many reading these lines. I can remember memorizing them in King James fashion when I was about 11-years-old. The content hasn’t changed since they were given roughly three millennia ago. God gave them to Moses originally from the top of Mt. Sinai. For us today, they have always been clearly outlined in the twentieth chapter of Exodus. They are familiar words found exactly where we expect them to be.
As we begin a two-week devotional focus on worship, let’s pause and take a closer look at that very first commandment.
“You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3 NIV).
Our initial understanding could lead us to the conclusion that the God of the exodus merely wants to be the god at the top of the heap of all others. On the org chart, His name is to be the highest among many. In the office complex, His is the corner office, surrounded by others’. A superficial look at “no other gods before me” [emphasis mine] makes that conclusion possible.
Not so! He is not the gold medal recipient among many star athletes. No, He desires to be the one and only. We dare not have any gods besides Him!
In our American culture, that sounds simple enough. The average one among us does not have a statue of Baal in her house. Most of us roll our eyes as we consider the legendary Greek gods of days gone by. But the gods of our lives, those things that we worship, are much more subtle. These may be things like money or material goods. It may be sports or certain athletes. It could be success or entertainment. Or how about family or friends. These are some of the many gods worshiped in our culture. But they rival the one true God for our attention and devotion. Though they may not be as obvious to us as the gods of the nations surrounding Israel thousands of years ago, they are just as threatening. And ultimately they receive worship that God alone requires.
Where does your praise go? To whom or what do you offer your worship? Is it the one and only Almighty God? If not, let God set things straight in your heart today and turn to Him. Worship Him!