Did you enjoy beginning your new year on the first day of the week this year? I sure did. There is no better way to start the year than in worship with the fellowship of the saints on the Lord’s Day, I felt the moving of the Spirit upon my heart to make God’s glory my priority this year. To see more clearly the wonder of Who He is, and reflect more accurately His image. After all it is the chief end of man right? With this in mind let’s consider the old adage, “You can’t legislate morality.” True or false?
How about true and false? True, laws will not make people moral. False, laws are amoral. Every piece of legislation, whether human or divine, is a reflection of a moral bearing. The Ten Commandments cannot make us moral. God knew when He gave the law that we could not keep it. So what was the point? To show us the reality that, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23.
To view the Decalogue merely as a prohibitive list of do’s and don’ts circumvents the reality that the Law reveals God’s moral perfection. What did we fall short of? His glory! And since I’m all about His glory I invite you to join me in a new look at the Old Ten. Let’s enjoy just one a day and gain a greater appreciation of Who our Father is.
Deuteronomy 5: 6 “‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” Reread those first six words. First of all notice it’s all about Him. Secondly, it's about what He does for us.
1. 7 “‘You shall have no other gods before[a] me.”
God introduces Himself by many names. In Genesis 2 He calls Himself Adoni. It means lord or boss. El Elyown, “God Most High” first appears in Genesis 14:18-20. In this passage we see the first priest mentioned in the Bible, Melchizedek, Priest of God Most High. Through the prophet Isaiah God refers to Himself as the First and the Last. “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.” (Isaiah 44:6) We should not have any god before Him because there are no gods before Him. He alone is supreme. He is the Most High, the First and the Last.
So what does He do for us in this command? He frees us from the notion that anything else can satisfy our soul. Accept no substitutes! He reminds us that He alone creates and sustains life. The reality is we have all had gods before Him. We try to find satisfaction through the creation: people, places, things rather than in the Creator Who made everything. Yet in this first simple command He reminds us that the hole in our hearts was made for Him alone, and only He is big enough to fill it.
There remains a third aspect of the law that displays God’s glory. Jesus fulfilled it. In the verses that precede Isaiah 44:6 God makes a promise to His people, “For I will pour water on him who is thirsty.” We hear Jesus, the Redeemer, the Alpha and Omega, fulfill this promise to an immoral woman by a well, “whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.” John 4:14a.
In this new year let us enjoy the freedom of having You alone as our soul's satisfaction. Let us rest in You alone as our sustenance. You are the Living Water. You are the Bread of Life. You alone are God. May we have no others before you. Amen