September 15, 2019 at 11:01 pm · naltadonna · Comments Off on Set in Stone: Week 2
We are in the middle of a sermon series on the Ten Commandments called Set in Stone. We often can see the Ten Commandments as a divine finger wagging of “Don’t do this” or “Don’t do that.” However, the Ten Commandments were not meant to be these rigid rules brought down by God, they were given in a context of grace. They are guidelines to show us how to respond to God’s grace and point us towards the way life is meant to be. This Sunday we looked at the first three commandments, which all are related to how we can worship and honor God above all else.
The first commandment is “You must have no other gods before me.” Polytheism was the custom at the time this law was given. Egyptians worshiped numerous gods, including a god of the sun, of the Nile, and even Pharaoh. Throughout the Exodus narrative, the Israelites saw how God was greater than any of the gods of Egypt and how God could do what no other god could do. Therefore, God did not want the Israelites to worship any other god besides the Lord God. We may think worshipping other gods is an ancient problem, but a god is simply something or someone you are devoted to above all else. Something becomes a god when our whole lives are centered around it. A god we worship may be money, work, power, status, success, or a relationship. If we choose to serve false gods, they will eventually let us down. If we can get this commandment right, the other ones are easier to obey.
The second commandment is “Do not make an idol for yourself.” Back then, idols were often carved images or statues of gods or animals that people would worship. The effects of this commandment are similar to the first commandment in that it leads to having something that is not God at the center of our lives. The issue of idolatry is found in the results of such worship and the type of person it creates. If we worship an idol, we become more like that idol, but if we worship Christ, we become more like Christ.
The third commandment is “Do not use the Lord’s name as if it has no significance.” Names are important to who we are. There is power in God’s name. This commandment calls us to respect and honor God’s name, for God is holy and sacred. Instead of using God’s name to control, manipulate, or control others, we ought to use God’s name in earnest. We are called to spend our lives glorifying God’s name. These three commandments, when taken together, show us how to worship God above all else. May we be a people who protest idolatry with prayer and choose to be devoted to God above all else, as a grateful response to God’s grace.
- Monday- Exodus 20:1-7
- Tuesday- Exodus 32:1-16
- Wednesday- Exodus 32:17-35
- Thursday- Ephesians 4:20-32
- Friday- Psalm 115:1-18
Questions to Consider and/or Discuss:
- What are you devoted to above all else?
- Does the way you talk to God and about God honor the Lord’s name?