The First Commandment
PO Box 88
Orange, VA 22960
Let us begin our study on the first commandment by turning to Exodus 20:3.
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me."
God alone is self-existent. He is the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. There is none like Him, and as such, is alone worthy of reverence and worship. This first commandment forbids us to place any other person or object before God. It would even forbid us to do anything that would lessen our love for God, or compromise our duty in serving God with our whole heart.
Everything begins with our relationship with God. The Bible opens with these words, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Genesis 1:1.
The gospel of John rightly begins, saying, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1.
Jesus is known as the "first," the "Alpha," the "beginning," and "the beginning of the creation of God."
We worship God and Him alone because He is before all things and created all things.
If we truly kept the first commandment, we would be able to keep the whole law. As the law is the miniature of the entire Bible, so is the first commandment the summary of the whole law. If we could only grasp the broad meaning, "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me," how different our lives would truly be.
If God were always first and best in our life, then we would receive the righteousness that He offers us in His dear Son. Jesus had said, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Matthew 6:33, 34.
The great commandment is, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." Deuteronomy 6:5.
True success in the spiritual life is to place God first. It is to love Him with all your heart. It is to worship Him and Him alone.
John wrote, "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." Revelation 4:11.
God is worthy of our worship because He has not only given us life but He has offered us eternal life through His Son. Because He is the Lifegiver and Redeemer, there is none else that is worthy of worship.
As Paul wrote, ". . . . we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) 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." 1 Corinthians 8:4-6.
In His wilderness temptation, Jesus told Satan, "Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." Matthew 4:10.
Any object or adoration and worship that takes the place of God or comes between us and God is false worship and that object becomes our idol.
There is in man a divinely planted instinct to worship. There are thousands of so-called gods in our world that people worship and adore above God. But with the true God it is all or nothing. As Jesus said, "he that is not with Me is against Me; and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad." Matthew 12:30.
This first commandment is so important because eternal life is to "know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." John 17:3.
If we serve and worship false gods, we will never come to know the only true God. As such, we forfeit eternal life. What a waste! Think about it! Imagine spending your life devoted to a false god or gods, which neither hear nor speak. We give to them the best of our time and talent. In the end, we have nothing. Worst yet, we never got to know Him who is eternal, the Creator of heaven and earth.