This article begins our series on the Ten Commandments. Be sure to read and study all the scriptures quoted.
Getting to Know God (Exodus 20:1-3)
Moses records for us, “And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me“ (Exodus 20:1-3). Spoken just after the thunder, lightning, fire, smoke, trumpet blast and earthquake, the people easily got the message. This God who spoke to them was an awesome Being of incredible power. His control over the elements on Mt. Sinai proved He was the Creator. There simply was no other God. God made His wishes plain. To become His nation, the people first and most importantly had to worship and obey only Him!
The word Lord in this verse comes from the Hebrew word YHVH. The word means the Eternal, or the Self-Existent One, or the Ever Living One.
Another important point must be made. The Eternal One’s LAW is also eternal. God is a Spirit and has eternally existed (John 4:24). God’s law is spiritual and has always existed with God. The spiritually mature will readily see and understand that The Ten Commandments have been in force since the creation of man.
It Is All About Government
The First Commandment teaches us that we must respect the high office and authority of Almighty God. Essentially, this commandment shows us that we must come under the government of God. James tells us, “There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy …” (James 4:12). Jesus Christ’s gospel message was about the Kingdom of God, or the coming government of God (Mark 1:14-15). The First Commandment teaches us that God must rule our lives—personally!
God commanded the people, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” The Hebrew word for before is al. Strong’s Concordance shows that this word can also be translated as above, against or in place of. To fully obey this commandment, man must never put another god above, against or in place of the Eternal God.
Paul said, “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness” (Rom. 6:16). Who do we obey? Are there times we knowingly disobey God because we don’t want to go against our families, our religion, our friends or the boss? God views such behavior as idolatry!
Jesus Christ taught this same principle. Study Luke 14:26. The Greek word for hate is miseo and means “to love less by comparison.” Essentially, this means that we must put God and His priorities first in our lives. We must put God’s desires before our own or any other human desire.
Read Matt. 22:37
The First Commandment requires that we diligently seek after God to please Him and love Him with all of our being.
Jesus replied: ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:37)
OBEY THE WORD!