2014-08-17 - The First Commandment
Is Polytheism Really an Issue Today
The question here is, why obey this command? To us, as believers, the issue maybe academic; after all, the Lord is the only one we worship. We will see, with the next command, that this isn't necessarily true but for the moment let's simply deal with the question of its necessity. But wait, we have already seen a problem. All Truth rises or falls on who God is. If He is the creator, the one who holds all things together, the infinite one, all-powerful, etc., then He is the one we should desire to know, "And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" (John 17:3 ESV).
And if we truly know whom God is, then our desire naturally should be only to worship Him. Here, implicit in knowing, is following, believing, etc. "Thus says the Lord: "Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts, boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice and righteousness in the Earth. For in these things, I delight, declares the Lord'" (Jeremiah 9:23-24 ESV).
By being commanded to have no other gods before the Lord, we are being commanded to have only the Lord before us. Negative commands also have, of necessity, a positive side. For us, the concept of having God before us is the real point we must deal with. If we focus only on the worship of the Lord, then by definition, we will not have other gods before Him. This then brings us to the real question, and that is: How to apply this commandment today. This we will discuss next week.
To be continued.
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