Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Exodus 20:22-23 (NIV)
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites this: ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.
Exodus 20:22-23 (MSG)
God said to Moses, “Give this Message to the People of Israel: ‘You’ve experienced firsthand how I spoke with you from Heaven. Don’t make gods of silver and gods of gold and then set them alongside me.
“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven. You shall not make other gods [to worship] besides Me; gods of silver or gods of gold, you shall not make [these lifeless idols] for yourselves.” -AMPLIFIED
We will find that the remainder of Exodus 20 and the following three chapters deal with the stipulations and details of the laws that God had given them. This section is considered “the Book of the Covenant”; and it is treated with great respect and awe by the Jews.
Before the Lord goes into these finer details, we find Him speaking through Moses to the Israelites once again. “You’ve experienced firsthand how I spoke with you from Heaven. Don’t make gods of silver and gods of gold and then set them alongside me.” God reiterates the importance of the people remaining faithful to Him.
The Almighty makes a very distinct comparison between Himself, the One True God, and those lifeless (g)ods of silver and gold. He could commune and have fellowship with His people; those lifeless false gods were good for nothing. Jehovah has spoken to His people personally; could any of those counterfeit gods do that?
Later in the book of Deuteronomy we can find Moses reminding the people of this very encounter that they had with the Almighty and of its importance to them. “Moses called all Israel together. He said to them, “Attention, Israel. Listen obediently to the rules and regulations I am delivering to your listening ears today. Learn them. Live them. God, our God, made a covenant with us at Horeb. God didn’t just make this covenant with our parents; he made it also with us, with all of us who are alive right now. God spoke to you personally out of the fire on the mountain. At the time I stood between God and you, to tell you what God said. You were afraid, remember, of the fire and wouldn’t climb the mountain. He said: “I am God, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of a house of slaves. No other gods, only me. No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. Don’t bow down to them and don’t serve them because I am God, your God, and I’m a most jealous God. I hold parents responsible for any sins they pass on to their children to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation. But I’m lovingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments.” -Deuteronomy 5:1-10 (MSG)
We all need a reminder from time-to-time; just as the Israelites needed. God is God; exactly who He says He is and there is no one or thing that should ever take His place in our hearts and lives. Oft times we allow other people or things to take a place of priority in our lives. This is wrong; and when we come to the realization of the fact that we have allowed this to happen we need to repent quickly and set things right with God.
“You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me. I, [only] I, am the Lord, and there is no Savior besides Me.” -Isaiah 43:10-11 (AMP)
Lord Almighty, you are the One, True God! Be the center of my life. May my heart and mind always be focused on you and be the first priority in my life. You are God alone and no one or thing can compare to You; the King of kings and the Lord of all lords. You are a loving, kind, understanding God who desires to have a personal relationship with your people. You care so much for you children that you pursue them in order to have fellowship with them; that is true love. Thank you God for being exactly who you are, my loving Heavenly Father.