Bahan Alkitab: Exodus 14, 15, 20:3
The Israelites had seen God keep his promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and how he used his mighty power to deliver them out of Egypt. God fought against the Egyptians and showed to both the Israelites and the Egyptians that he alone is God.
After the display of all these miraculous events, God gave the 10 Commandments to the Israelites through Moses on Mount Sinai. The very first commandment is that God told the people not to have other gods before him. Given the cultural context where the Israelites lived, it is easy for them to be influenced by their neighboring nations (in Egypt or in the Promised Land, Canaan) and adopt their practices. All the nearby nations worshiped a variety of false gods and idols. They bowed down to man-made statues that could be seen and touched but were powerless. God wanted Israelites to be different. He had bound himself to his people in saving love and grace, showed them his glory and given them his presence. In response he required Israel’s loyalty and exclusive worship.
What is required by the 1st Commandment? Westminster Catechism answered (to question 46) as follows: the 1st Commandment requires us to know and acknowledge God to be the only true God, and our God, and to worship and glorify him accordingly.
How do we worship and glorify God according to his Word? 1) By worshiping God alone, 2) by putting our faith in him and 3) by obeying him in all we do.
May this lesson remind us to take God’s first commandment to heart and be aware of all the false gods and idols that surround us today.
You shall have no other gods before me.