The First Commandment: You shall have no other gods before me

The First Commandment: You shall have no other gods before me

Today we begin a series looking at the ten commandments. They reveal God’s righteousness and our sinfulness. They reveal to each and every person that we are sinners in need of a Savior.

The first commandment God gave to Moses in Exodus 20:1-3 was: You shall have no other gods before me. Exclusiveness is an essential expression of real love and commitment. It is at the heart not only of Biblical marriage but also of our worship.

Five Purposes of the Law:

  1. It was designed to reveal man’s sinfulness (Romans 3:19-20).
  2. It uncovered or illustrated the hideous nature of sin (Romans 7:8-13).
  3. It revealed the holiness of God.
  4. It restrained the sinner so as to help him come to Christ (Galatians 3:24).
  5. It restrained wrong behavior so as to protect the integrity of the moral and social and religious institutions of Israel.[1]

The first commandment …

  1. Means God is to be worshiped exclusively.
  2. Reveals that God is jealous.
  3. Is followed today by giving exclusive allegiance to the Trinity.

There are 4 introspective questions we can use as a diagnostic tool.

  1. Whom do you praise (adoration)? You may compliment your children, spouse, and friends, but who receives your highest praise?
  2. Whom do you count on (trust)? Sure, God works through means, such as doctors, insurance companies, and prescription medicine, but when you really are in need, who do you know will always come through?
  3. Whom do you call for (invocation)? Where do you look for answers? Where do you turn for purpose and joy? Is it food, work, TV, your phone, or the God of the universe?
  4. Whom do you thank? Where do your food days come from? Who made the trees and the stars and that cooing little baby?

[1] John J. Davis. Moses and the Gods of Egypt. (Winona Lake, IN: BMH Books, 1998), 207.
[2] Kevin DeYoung. The Ten Commandments: What They Mean, Why They Matter, and Why We Should Obey Them. (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2018), 38-39


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