ODJ: no other gods
December 21, 2013
READ: Exodus 20:1-6
You must not have any other god but me (v.3).
Jason is dead serious about his studies. He’s striving to gain an overseas scholarship that will allow him to pursue a doctorate degree in mathematics. So he makes sure that he does well in all his required classes. He’s also gone beyond the basics to take higher level classes. He eats, drinks and sleeps maths!
Has education become his god? It’s hard to tell. Any responsible student should put in the due diligence. Yet, on the other hand, it’s easy for career, family, hobbies and other everyday concerns to be elevated to godlike status. We can begin to give them our total devotion.
God said to His people: “You must not have any other god but me” (Exodus 20:3). For to have another god before the only God is to provoke Him to holy jealousy. John Calvin explained, “This is like a shameless woman who brings in an adulterer before her husband’s very eyes only to vex his mind the more.”
But can we obey this commandment? The answer is both “no” and “yes.” No, because the Law reveals our sinful inclination towards other gods. Yes, because of what Christ has accomplished on the cross for us. Now, with the Holy Spirit’s help, we can keep this command—as Philip Ryken puts it, “not as a way of getting right with God, but as a way of pleasing the God who has made us right with Him.”
May our heart’s prayer reflect these words from hymn writer Robert Robinson: “O to grace how great a debtor daily I’m constrained to be! Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to Thee. Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love; here’s my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.” —Poh Fang Chia
for God’s view of other gods and why it’s foolish to have them.
What person, hobby or thing has been elevated to godlike status in your life? What will you do about it today?