Q. What does the Lord require in the first commandment?
A. That I, not wanting to endanger my own salvation, avoid and shun all idolatry (1), sorcery, superstitious rites (2), and prayer to saints or to other creatures (3). That I rightly know the only true God (4) trust Him alone (5), and look to God for every good thing (6), humbly (7), and patiently (8), and love (9), fear (10), and honor (11) God
with all my heart. In short, that I give up anything rather than go against God’s will in any way (12).
Read: (1) 1 Cor. 6:9-10; 10:5-14; 1 John 5:21; (2) Lev. 19:31; Deut. 18:9-12; (3) Matt. 4:10; Rev. 19:10; 22:8-9; (4) John 17:3; (5 )Jer. 17:5, 7; (6) Ps. 104:27-28; James 1:17; (7) 1 Pet. 5:5-6; (8) Col. 1:11; Heb. 10:36; (9) Matt. 22:37 (Deut. 6:5); (10) Prov. 9:10; 1 Pet. 1:17; (11) Matt. 4:10 (Deut. 6:13); (12) Matt. 5:29-30; 10:37-39.
This world is all about us. You watch tv ads and it’s all about what will the item being sold will do for me. We go to work and we want to know who can benefit me. We go to church and it is all about how it makes me feel. Everything in this world makes me the center of the world, the queen of the universe, the ultimate. I decide my own future. My work and intellect trumps over everything. I do and I get what I want when I want and the standing ovation for all my effort is for me. Me, myself and I. That is what the world teaches us. We have become so deluded that we even read The Bible thinking it is all about us! And yet, The Bible is not about us but about God and His glory. God is God and because He is God, He deserves the glory forever and He will not share His glory with anyone else. Let’s study question 93 of The Heidelberg Catechism and study this countercultural teaching of The Bible.
Have you ever wondered why God being perfect and needing nothing, created everything out of nothing? For His glory. Have you ever wondered why God saved us after we had shown the folly of our sinful heart? For His glory. Have you ever wondered why after He has saved us, He works in our hearts to make us more like Christ? For His glory. Sister, everything that God does is for His glory and His glory alone! And it is only logical. If God glorified anything other than Himself, He wouldn’t be God because He would reckon that there is something or someone that deserves the honor and glory and therefore, He wouldn’t be God. He deserves the glory. He demands the glory. That is why the First Commandment is precisely that “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. You shall have no other gods before me’” (Exodus 20:1-3).
As we have seen, when God created us He created us with one purpose: to glorify Him. We are made, we are meant to glorify Him. When we glorify Him, we are working correctly and therefore our soul is satisfied. And yet, we insist in having and making other gods thinking that they will satisfy us not understanding that those other things which we look to satisfy our soul as gods will never satisfy. Inherently, they cant! Setting our hearts on things like our marriage and our children or our jobs or our possessions or our circumstances will never satisfy us. They will break, they will fail us, they will cease to exist and therefore, they will disappoint us regardless of how good they may have been. When we make anything other than the God of The Bible, a god, it will always disappoint us.
But what about ourselves? In a world of self glorification, can I be god? The answer is obviously no, but we try to. Let’s face it, we are terrible at being god. We are sinful. We are prideful. We hurt others and many times even ourselves! And if we are honest, you and I know that nothing we have is because we deserve it. Everything comes because God so provided. The breath in your lungs? That, dear sister, is called grace! The health you have? The gifts and abilities? You were given all of those for a reason and, as we have seen they are not to make you queen of your life, but rather to glorify God. Everything that you have is a gift from God. Everything that you are able to do is because of God. Even the fact that you can work hard and persevere is because of God. And sister, if you can’t take credit for anything in your life, can you get the glory? No. The glory belongs to God.
When God tells us that we should have no other gods is because He knows that we will try to make everything but Him God. We hate recognizing that He exists, that He is in control and that He, and not us, should receive the glory. We need His help to humbly recognize our position not as queens and masters of our destiny but as creation in the hands of Almighty God. But when we do, satisfaction and joy and peace comes because when we put God in the place where He belongs; that is, the center of everything, we do precisely what we were created to do…to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.
So sister, today I want to ask you; will you continue to search for satisfaction in little gods that will never satisfy? Or will you put Almighty God in His place, in the center of your life and find in Him everything that your soul longs for?