No God Before Me Ex. 20:3
No gods before me
The ten commandments begins: “You shall have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3). In this world there are many idols. Paul declared that indeed "there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”. He however didn't stop there but continued: "yet for us there is one God" (1Cor. 8:5-6). There indeed in truth IS only ONE GOD (1Cor. 8:4). The powerful demonstration of the plagues that God had brought upon Egypt was to teach 'the Yahweh is LORD'.
This became the battle ground in the faith of Israel. They did poorly in this. The golden calf came early in their existence as a nation of people. All through the wanderings they clung to their idols. Stephen declared that: " God turned away and gave them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets:
“ ‘Did you bring to me slain beasts and sacrifices, during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? You took up the tent of Moloch and the star of your god Rephan, the images that you made to worship; and I will send you into exile beyond Babylon.’ " (Acts 7:42-43). Generation after generation forsook God and served their idols (Judges 2:11-13; Judges 3:7; Judges 10:6; 1Kings 9:9; 1Kings 16:31; 1Kings 22:53; 2Kings 10:18; 2 Kings 17:12; 2 Kings 17:15; 2Chron. 7:22; 2 Chron. 24:18). At times they attempted the impossible of fearing the Lord AND serving their own gods (2 Kings 17:35-41). You cannot do this acceptably. Paul writes that "you cannot partake of the table of Lord and the table demons" (1 Cor. 10:21). During His temptation, Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy saying: "…it is written, “ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’ ” (Matthew 4:10).
Many idols are idols of the heart. They are not idols in the classic sense, but they are indeed that which we serve in place of God. God ends up taking '2nd' place in the hearts of people. It is in this way that Paul could state that covetousness is idolatry (Col. 3:5). Jesus spoke directly of this saying “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money" (Matthew 6:24).
I fear that the greatest idol of the heart is SELF. How easily I can move God from his throne and sit myself down on it. The rules of life become grounded in my happiness, my contentment, my self-satisfaction and my desire. Whether it be how I worship, what I consider to be morally acceptable, my conduct in relationships (marriage, society, business, etc.), it all is governed by what I decide. Whether it is masked as sensuality, power, wealth, fame, or whatever, the bottom line is about ME. In essence I am proclaiming myself to be god. I serve ME.
God is God, I am not God. God has authority because He is God. He is the creator, the sustainer, and will be the judge. God will show who is the only God and king when he brings each of us to give an account (2 Cor. 5:10, Gal. 6:7-8 ). The Word of God is still the authority for life. Yes, it must be understood correctly and then applied correctly, but we will be held responsible even for THAT. We are commanded to not be unlearned but to understand the will of God. (Eph. 5:17)
Jesus is correct that the only way of life is to "worship the Lord your God and him only serve."