In this devotional series, we are examining the timeless principles outlined in the 10 Commandments. Specifically this week, we are exploring the implications of the first two commandments:
- No other gods before God
- No graven images to be worshiped
After reading 1 Corinthians 8, you may consider these commands to be unnecessary. After all, Paul makes it clear that “there is no God but one.” (v. 4) Not only is there no other like Him, but He is the one and only. He alone is supreme, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God. He is our creator “from whom all things came” and our sustainer “through whom we live.” (v. 6) He is also the One who ascribes to us purpose as indicated in the statement “for whom we live.” (v. 6)
The commandment, then, to place no other gods before Him is an interesting one. It is instruction that warns against the foolish possibility of ascribing importance to some non-deity…possibly to some imagined or even demonic entity…the worship that only God deserves.
Similarly, this chapter helps us to identify graven images or idols for what they are. “An idol is nothing at all in the world,” Paul says in verse 4. Idols are not representative images of a deity that is really behind them. They have no divine power.
All of this leads us to some interesting conclusions. In spite of the uniqueness of God and the “nothingness” of idols, God deemed it necessary to give the clear instructions of the first two commandments. He recognized the bent of fallen humanity to worship objects, activities, or beings (real or invented) other than Himself. He understood our tendency to subject ourselves to forces other than His omnipotent power. In reality, the only power these other entities possess is either demonic or the power that we ascribe to them. That demonic or ascribed power is dangerous. Guaranteed, it will lead us away from God, and we will find ourselves enslaved to it.
Our idols today are not always represented by an image that we place in a prominent place in our homes and bow before. (Oh, wait! That just sounded a bit like a TV or computer!) Over the days ahead, we will look at some common ones.
Would you begin to ask God to expose any idols that might be in your life.