Exposition of the First Commandment.
Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
If God says, you shall have no other gods before me, does it means there are other gods? Is the God of the Bible a God among many gods?
In the Hindu pantheon there are said to be three hundred and thirty-three million Gods. Hindus believe in one Supreme Being. The plurality of Gods are perceived as divine creations of that one Being. So, Hinduism has one supreme God, but it has an extensive hierarchy of Gods. As Mormons, we clearly believe in more than one god, for example: Jesus, Heavenly Father, Holy Ghost, Heavenly Mother . In fact we even believe that we ourselves may become gods. We believe that the earth was created by a group of gods. Some of us even believe that Father in Heaven is one God among many, and that he had a Father before him.
According to Jehovah's Witnesses, GOD THE FATHER: Known as Jehovah, the Watchtower considers Him to be the only true eternal God, the Almighty. They write, "There was, therefore, a time when Jehovah was all alone in universal space" (Let God Be True, p. 25). Being alone, the first creative act of Jehovah was to create his Son.
GOD THE SON: The Watchtower has consistently denied the deity of . Under Knorr's leadership the Watchtower proclaimed, "Thus, for example, the shows that there is only one God, the Most High, the Almighty. And that the Son, as the First-born, the Only-begotten and `the creation by God,' had a beginning" (From Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained, p. 164).
They further stated, "It proves that Michael the archangel is no other than the only-begotten Son of God, now The very name Michael means `Who is like God?' and indicates that Jehovah God is without like or equal and that Michael his archangel is his great Champion and Vindicator" (New Heavens and a New Earth, pp. 30-31).
Jehovah's Witnesses believe there are two gods the almighty God - Jehovah and the mighty God - Jesus.
There are some who say, there are billions of people on the earth so there are billions of gods. One person said, "If there are billions of human beings, it would require billions of Gods. I believe it would be utterly ridiculous to think one God could satisfy the daily needs of a billion human beings.
The word Polytheism believes in many gods. The word Monotheism means believing in one God.
And then for many religions who believe there are many gods. But what does the Bible say.
Corinthians I 8:5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
Corinthians I 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
Also in Galatians 4:8, But then indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods.
Yes, to certain people there are so called gods but to us there is only one God. God is not polytheistic but monotheistic.
Isaiah 43:10 "…Before me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after me."
Isaiah 43:11 "I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior."
Isaiah 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
So it is very clear in scripture that there are so called gods, where men worship but there is only one true God. Even Satan is called a god of the world due to the power he exercises over the world as the unbelievers are in his kingdom
Corinthians II 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them, which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
But in reality there is one true living God. We are to worship, serve and honor the living one true God. All the other gods are idols.
Psalms 96:4 For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods.
Psalms 96:5 For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens.
'And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God,'
&c. Exod 20: 1, 2. What is the preface to the Ten Commandments?
The preface to the Ten Commandments is, 'I am the Lord thy God.'
Who is the speaker? God. The Lawgiver. There are two requirements of a Lawgiver.
The laws are founded upon wisdom, upon reason. God, in this respect, is most fit to be a lawgiver: 'he is wise in heart.' Job 9: 4. He has a monopoly of wisdom. 'The only wise God.' 1
However wise they may be, they want the stamp of authority. God has the supreme power in his hand: he gives being to all; and he who gives men their lives, has most right to give them their laws. "I am the Lord your God." It shows his majesty, self-sufficiency, eternity, independence, and immutability. Mal. 3: 6.
On the other hand we see the Roman Catholics who believes in the sovereignty of the Pope. Thessalonians II 2:4 "Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." For he will canonise saints. Lord of earth, for with his keys he binds and looses whom he pleases; Lord of hell, for he frees men out of purgatory. God will pull down these plumes of pride; he will consume this man of sin 'with the breath of his mouth, and the brightness of his coming. Thessalonians II 2:8 "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:"
When we understand the ten commandments are the moral commandments given to man by the Almighty God, " I am thy Lord" On God's part there is authority, power, wisdom and knowledge and our part there is reverence and fear. One of the reasons why people does not care of the Ten Commandments is of course ignorant and the other is there is no fear of God.
That thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, The Lord thy God.’ Deut 28:58
This fearing God is (1) To have him always in our eye, ‘I
have set the Lord always before me.’ Psa 16: 8. ‘Mine eyes are ever
towards the Lord.’ Psa 25: 15. He who fears God imagines that
Whatever he is doing, God looks on, and as a judge, weighs all his
actions. (2) To fear God is to have such a holy awe of God upon our
hearts, that we dare not sin. ‘Stand in awe and sin not.’ Psa 4: 4.
The wicked sin and fear not; the godly fear and sin not. ‘How then
can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?’ Gen 39: 9. Bid
me sin, and you bid me drink poison. It is a saying of Anselm, ‘If
hell were on one side, and sin on the other, I would rather leap
into hell, than willingly sin against my God.’ He who fears God will
not sin, though it be ever so secret.
The fear of God destroys the fear of man. The three children feared
God, therefore they feared not the king’s wrath. Dan 3: 16. The fear of God drowns all carnal fear, as we have a holy fear of him who made us.
"Thou shall have not other gods before me." What is meant by 'before me?'
It means before my face or in my sight. Worshipping a false god.
Idolatry is setting up something and having love and devotion to that is being setup, instead of God. It could be an image, a saint, an angel, a Hollywood idol, Singer, Sports or a Sports star, wealth, job, a lover, material things etc.,
The wife cannot have two husbands, only one whom she can love. It is the same the church, as the church is compared to the bride and we have only one husband. We have a marriage covenant with God, precious blood was sacrificed in that new covenant, and if we break that marriage covenant and go after other gods we are breaking the marriage covenant and guilty of committing adultery.
Israel committed adultery when they worshipped the golden calf. They committed adultery when they worshipped other gods.
Judges 2:12 And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.
When they committed spiritual adultery as they ran after other gods, they broke the marriage covenant.
Hosea 2:2 Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts;
There are some who trust in ruches. They make riches and comforts as their god and have confidence in them. The riches and the comfort become their security and hope. And not the living God who is their shield, rock and the fortress. This kind of riches is very deceitful. (Mat 13:22) This kind of riches and security gives us a lot of hope and satisfy our desires. These kinds of riches makes a man prideful. (Ezk. 28:5, Job 31:24-25) If you trust in your salary, your bank account, your social security, your insurance your wealth you have another god. Jesus said, Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: Matthew 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
People have nice homes, nice comfortable cars, all kind of material things and if you have time to decorate your home, and take care of your car, and to watch your favorite programs on the TV, to go shopping in the malls, have time to listen to the worldly music, to think and meditate what you are going to do with the money you have saved, and you have no time to read, study and meditate his word, no time to pray, fellowship and to witness. Do not trust in your riches and comfort, as you do not know what time the Lord will take them away. The Syrians trusted in their army, which was so numerous that it filled the country. They trusted in their security. But God destroyed them. ( 1 Kings 20:-27-29)
Be careful as we are living in the days of very similar to Sodom and Gomorrah. There is evil all around you. Trusting in riches and security is an abomination to the Lord. Thou shall have no other gods before me. It is a commandment.
To be continued….