The First Commandment is a Threat.

May I share something kind of strange? OK. Thanks.

I've been thinking (yes, again)! (I do that.)

It seems to me that the first of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3) isn’t really a commandment at all.

The commandment in question says simply, “You will have no other gods before me.” There’s no command in that verse. It doesn’t say “Don’t do it.” There is no “Thou shalt not…” in this. There’s actually no command in the first commandment.

What there is, however, is a threat.

It’s like this: “You ain’t ever gonna have other gods before me. If you set one up, I will knock it down. It will not succeed.”

This isn’t so much about what we must or must do. This doesn’t appear to be about us exercising our will power. This appears to be us being aware of God’s nature. If you enter into relationship with God, then God will be the big deal in your life.

I wonder if this might be why some folks get into trouble? I wonder if sometimes, other folks – and they themselves may not even know about it – put them on a pedestal, perhaps because they are open to being treated with reverence or with the kind of honor that really only belongs to One.

If I set up somebody as the authority in my life – maybe my pastor, maybe a famous author or conference speaker or maybe a godly broadcaster – if I listen to them for what I ought to believe, and how much money I should give and to whom, for the directions or limitations in my life, then I’ve set them up as a god in my life. Before the Lord.

And the threat is ready to be applied. God will need to remove them from the “before me” part of my life.

Now the real question applies: this is clearly an Old Testament / Old Covenant threat. Does this principle apply in the New Covenant? 


Unknown said...

What if the REAL PURPOSE of the TEN COMMANDMENTS was NOT to tell us how bad WE can be, but instead how good and perfect Jesus IS? In other words, consider the Ten Commandments as a revelation of Jesus' flawless divine nature. In John 5:46, Jesus said Moses wrote of Him. Jesus later confirmed that that ALL the Scriptures speak of Him. Let's now reread the Ten Commandments with this in mind: 1) It is IMPOSSIBLE for Jesus to be LESS than the Lord our GOD. 2) It is IMPOSSIBLE for there to be OTHER Gods more powerful and real than Jesus. 3) It is IMPOSSIBLE for Jesus to ever act in vain and without complete victory. 4) It is IMPOSSIBLE for Jesus to leave the Sabbath rest of His past completed work, for He has already done ALL to save us. 5) It is IMPOSSIBLE for Jesus to dishonor His heavenly Father at any time. 6) It is IMPOSSIBLE for Jesus to commit murder, violence or coercion. 7) It is IMPOSSIBLE for Jesus to commit spiritual adultery on His bride the Church. 8) It is IMPOSSIBLE for Jesus to steal, rob or destroy. 9) It is IMPOSSIBLE for Jesus to lie, manipulate or deceive. 10) It is IMPOSSIBLE for Jesus to be jealous, covetous or envious.

Unknown said...

I am feeling very welcome to this message. I had been wondering how I was going to read and understand the OT through the lens of Jesus (and knowing I'm His /He's mine.) This ABSOLUTELY HELPS. Thank you.