If you’re like me, perhaps you’ve looked at the commandment from God to have no other gods before Him as coming from a harsh, demanding and jealous God. Certainly, God does say that He is jealous for us, but a quick look at the context in which the Commandments were given shows us an additional, and very important, truth.
“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’” (Exodus 20:2).
Before listing a single command, God reminded the people that He had graciously rescued them from their slavery and brought them to Himself to be His treasured possession. You see, even in the giving of the law that followed, grace was the solid foundation. In His mercy, God chose to save people and make them His children. Only then did He give them a short list of ways to remain in right relationship with Him.
Now, let’s consider the first Commandment, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (v. 3). Seen through the lens of grace, we realize that one of the purposes for this command, perhaps the primary purpose, is God’s desire to see all men come to a saving faith in Him (1 Timothy 2:4). And because God knows that forgiveness, and freedom from the slavery of sins can be found nowhere else, He loving tells us not to pursue any other god. In other words, since all other “god” roads are dead ends, God’s first Commandment is a loving “Don’t go there!”
No other religion leads to a God who offers salvation by grace through faith; every other option demands men try to earn their way. God’s solution is Christ alone…therefore, have no other god.
In whom, or what, are you placing your faith? Dave
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