Practically applying the first two Commandments to Christians today
When God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, He set a standard that would influence the world for ages to come. Those ten statements of direction summed up all of what humanity would need to live godly and productive lives. The first two of those Commandments were to have no other gods before God himself and to not create and worship idols. While we know what these things meant for ancient Israel, what do they mean for us? Are we, as Christians, bound by those Commandments? If so, how? What does having other gods look like in the 21st century? And what about idols? Back in those days, people chiseled them out of wood or stone. We don’t do that anymore, so how would making and worshipping idols fit into or day?
Why did God make the First Commandment about Him? It is not a sign of arrogance, but it is a sign of authority. After all, God is THE Creator and therefore worthy of ALL praise and honor. His worthiness reminds us of our need to give Him our unbroken allegiance. “Having no other gods before Me” is the unquestioned basis for the other nine Commandments. Without this singular focus on our Creator, Christians cannot possibly build a balanced, integrity-driven personal and spiritual life.
Having said all this, having other gods before God is deceptively easy. This can happen in a very imperceptible way because it has to do with what we worship in our hearts. It is a simple and natural thing to prop up loyalty and allegiance to many things in ways no one ever sees. Other gods can take the form of people or power. They can also be things like success, ego and social position. Adopting another god to occupy the Father’s rightful place in our hearts undermines God’s sacred and rightful ascendency. This can only lead to compromised thinking and behavior.
So, what about the Second Commandment that tells us not to make and worship idols? What is the difference here? Violating this is the outward manifestation of having already violated the First Commandment. You will only make an idol to something that you already have put in a place of honor. Idols in today’s world are vastly different than idols of ancient times. While we don’t carve them out of wood or stone, we certainly and easily collect them in the form of possessions, pictures and symbols.
Check out our October 12, 2020 podcast, “Do I Have Other Gods and Idols in My Life?” for more. We clearly define what having other gods and idols looks like today. We then walk through a profound scriptural reasoning from the book of 2 Peter that reveals a process for keeping our allegiance to God intact and vital. Everything about our world today draws our loyalty away from its rightful owner, and we really have to fight this trend. The battle is winnable if you know how. Join us for a winning strategy!
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