Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Exodus 20:1-3 (NIV)
And God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before me.
Exodus 20:1-3 (MSG)
God spoke all these words: I am God, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of a life of slavery. No other gods, only me.
“Then God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. “You shall have no other gods before Me.”-AMPLIFIED
Exodus 20 is composed mainly of the giving of The Decalogue or the Ten Commandments. These were given by Jehovah as standards and guidelines for the people to follow in order to keep them safe and in right standing with God. Once again we find that these commands or instructions were put in place to protect the children of Israel, not take away their freedom and fun.
It is important to note that the first four commands were direct toward the Israelites relationship with God and the last six toward their relationship with each other. This is important for us to realize the need to keep our priorities straight; God first, mankind second.
Something to consider as we look through these commands or instructions over the next few days; Jesus summed them up in two directives. Matthew shares with us this moment; ““Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?” Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” -Matthew 22:36-40 (MSG)
The first command that God pointedly makes is, “I am the Lord your God. I brought you out of the land of Egypt where you were slaves. “You must not have any other gods except me.” (ICV) This is not only the first command, but the most important command.
This is the foundation that all the other commands will be built upon. It is the fundamental truth that the people need to understand if any of the other commands were to work or make sense. It was Jehovah, their God, who had brought them out of Egypt; a land filled with many, many gods. The Israelites would have been influenced by all of those false gods while living in the land of Egypt and God wanted them to realize that He alone was to be their God. He was and always would be the One, True God.
We can find the importance of this mandate echoed in Deuteronomy. “Attention, Israel! God, our God! God the one and only! Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got! Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates. When God, your God, ushers you into the land he promised through your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to give you, you’re going to walk into large, bustling cities you didn’t build, well-furnished houses you didn’t buy, come upon wells you didn’t dig, vineyards and olive orchards you didn’t plant. When you take it all in and settle down, pleased and content, make sure you don’t forget how you got there—God brought you out of slavery in Egypt.” -Deuteronomy 6:4-12 (MSG)
Know what you believe and believe what you know. There is only One, True, Loving, Protective, God. It is He who cares for us with and everlasting love. It is He who keeps all His promises. It is He who will bring us to His Promised Land. Be careful lest you forget the fundamental truths; the very foundation of what you believe.
Father God, I know you are the One, True God. Be number one in my life. Help me to keep my priorities in the proper order. I want to carefully guard our relationship together; for I do indeed love you with all that is within me. Write your commands on my heart. Help me to focus on what is truly important, because I desire always to be pleasing to you. Be my One, True Love.