No Other Gods

Posted on 4:05 PM by
This past Sunday, Pastor Charlie taught regarding the 10 Commandments, but we wanted to take a little time to dig deeper into the first four by writing a few blog posts this week. These four commandments are most primary, as they are focused towards God, and are summed up by Jesus as the greatest commandment - “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)

COMMANDMENT #1 - You shall have no other gods before me.

Exodus 20: 1 - 3
And God spoke all these words, saying, "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.”

God reminds His people of His faithfulness, to remind them why they should obey Him. Then He begins His commandments. So what exactly does it mean to have other ‘gods’ before God? I think there are a couple of ways we do this primarily:

When you look back to history and the many cultures that have made it up, you see this happening explicitly. The field was of primary value for food and economics, so ancient religions personified those things in a ‘god’ named Baal that they worshipped. We even see Solomon get caught up in building shrines to fish and fertility gods. It’s easy to point fingers there, but truthfully, we still have ‘gods’. We just don’t name them anymore.

Anything in your life can become a ‘god’ if you don’t keep it in its proper place. Comfort? Yes. Approval of people? Yes. Your cellphone? Most definitely. Even your family? Absolutely.

Anything that you raise to the position in your heart that only God deserves becomes a ‘god’. Is He your foundation? Does your life rest on Him, or do you rely more on easily broken technology?

We get pretty good at portioning out our hearts, leaving room for God, but only on Sundays or during Missional Communities. The rest of our days and energies are focused elsewhere. But our heart is not a tithe, giving only ten percent of ourselves to the glory of God. God desires to be EVERYTHING to us, and asks EVERYTHING of us.

Jesus has a conversation with a man in Matthew 19 who asks Him what he has to do in order to have eternal life. Jesus tells him to keep the commandments. The man responds and says that he has kept all of them. So Jesus then asks him to sell all he has and give it to the poor. This man’s possessions were taking up a large part of his heart, and he walked away from Jesus sorrowfully.

It’s not that God doesn’t care about our family or our job. He certainly does. He just wants us to be a good husband/wife or mother/father out of love and obedience for Him, not just out of love for our spouse and kids. In fact, we are a better spouse and parent when we put God above our spouse and kids, because God has a greater love for both of them than we could ever imagine.

Tim Keller puts it this way: “the primary way to define sin is not just the doing of bad things, but the making of good things into ultimate things.”

What is a good thing that you’ve made an ultimate thing? Take some time to confess that to God, giving Him that right position in your heart and life.

Here’s a link to a post on The Gospel Coalition blog that provides some great insight into getting a little deeper with this -