The next couple weeks, I will be posting devotionals and studies on the Ten Commandments. Right here is a study on the 1st commandment.
The Ten Commandments—What do they mean for us today, as Christians?
The giving of the ten commandments, having been given to Moses by God are here relayed to God’s people, Israel. Exodus 20:1-17,
“And God spoke all these words:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before[a] me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
1st Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3
It is important to note that right before this, God reminded the people who He is and what He had done for them, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”
He was their deliverer and redeemer who had given them not only freedom, but plunder to go along with it (Exodus 12:36), one day to enter the promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey (Exodus 6:6-8; 3:17). They were supposed to recognize that everything actually belongs to God (cf Haggai 2:8) and they were to honor Him from their wealth which He had given—and had yet to give. They were leaving the midst of a pagan nation, Egypt, to eventually enter the promised land, where they would have to drive out still more pagan nations. What pressure they must have faced—and succumbed to from time to time. Exodus 32—the golden calf. They used the gold which the Lord had given them as plunder from the Egyptians to make an idol. They forgot so quickly! They did not have their minds set on the right things.
The nature of a man has not changed through the centuries. Only how our sinful nature materially manifests changes.
The New Testament points this out.
Romans 1:18-25—people served created things rather than the Creator. People wanted to glorify themselves (vs 21-23). That created things can give us life is a lie (vs. 25).
Jesus quotes Deuteronomy in Matthew 22 . See Deuteronomy 6:1-12—Obey, enjoy relationship with God the Lord, their Creator; enjoy prosperity in a land they did not earn; BE CAREFUL NOT TO FORGET.
“But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” “ —Matthew 22:35-40
Love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind. Key word: ALL. I can’t have split attention, motives, or goals. My purpose is to love God and love others as He loves them. God wants to redeem His creation—that has been His plan for His creation since the Garden of Eden.
The question is, do I have split attention, motives or goals or am I loving God with all my being? If my devotion is split, then I am putting something before God—making something else into a god.
The message from Deuteronomy 6:1-12 is also for us today:
-Enjoy relationship with God, our Creator—Colossians 1:15-20
-Obey Christ. Colossians 1:18—Christ should have first place in everything.
-BE CAREFUL NOT TO FORGET. —James 1:22-25…Look intently and seek to be changed by God’s word.
-Enjoy prosperity I did not earn—Partaking in the life of Christ. John 15:1-8…Fruit: proof of Christ’s life. We’ll have everything we need—whatever we ask in Jesus’ name.
Lord’s Supper: 1 Corinthians 11:23-29…Partaking in a worthy manner is partaking in, thereby proclaiming the Lord’s death. John 15:9-17…True love is acting on the attitude of being willing to lay down one’s life for others.
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This is the blog of Tyler Shepard, the Associate Pastor for Centre Union Church in Yeagertown, PA.
I hope you are encouraged and challenged to walk more closely with Jesus Christ!