Summary: This is the second in the series of sermons on the Ten Commandments and looks at the first two Commandments.
I AM YOUR GOD
Just a few weeks ago I started the first in a series of sermons that have really begun to make me see things around me a little more clearly. I was starting here and we were discussing the problems that I have come across when people tell me that they have to get their lives straightened our in order for God to accept them. Because that’s how it works. The better I act, the better I behave the more God will love me. The more he’ll accept me. The more he’s going to hear me and listen to my prayers.
The problem with that kind of thinking is that it’s a lie.
Where did that idea come from to begin with? Well, we talked about that too.
If you were to ask someone if they’re going to heaven, nine times out of ten they’re going to tell you that they are. When you ask them how they know, somewhere in that discussion they going to bring up the fact that they obey the rules. They obey the Ten Commandments.
Now if you’ll remember that discussion we noted that the Ten Commandments are not a condition of God’s love. He doesn’t give them out and say, “OK. Here you go. All you have to do is obey these rules and I’ll accept you.” Instead he has a relationship with the people he gives his rules to. So the commandments instead become a confirmation of a relationship with him.
It works like this. I give rules to my kids, because they are my kids. You give rules to your kids because you have a relationship with them. God gives his rules to his children because they are his children. They already have a relationship with him. And I can’t come up and give rules to your kids. If I did you’d look at me and say, “They’re not your kids.”
That was just the beginning of what I discovered along the way. I’ve been going to church pretty much my whole life and I honestly couldn’t list all ten of the Ten Commandments, even now after studying them so in depth.
The world is the same way. If you ask most people what the Ten Commandments are, usually they will come up with thou shall not kill and thou shall not steal. Once in a while you’ll find someone who knows you shall not commit adultery. But these are all at the end of the commandments. Very rarely will you find someone who knows the first two.
So today we’re going to jump into the text of the Ten Commandments. You’ll find it over Exodus chapter 20. We’re only going to be looking at the first two today.
So beginning in verse one. “And God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.”
This is huge1
Don’t have any other gods.
Not even one.
Don’t have any other gods because I am the only God
There is one fundamental truth that God wanted to express with this commandment.
There is only one God.
We talked a little bit about this last time. The Israelites had just come out of 400 years of slavery in the land of Egypt. At the time, Egypt gods the Egyptians worshipped. They had gods for everything. There were gods for agriculture, for fertility, for the Nile River, and for war. They had personal and family gods that only the individual served and the rest of the nation did not.
To give you an idea of just how many gods the Egyptians served we kind of need to look at Biblical archeology. There is a theory that during the time of Joseph the pharaoh over all of Egypt was a man by the name of Amonhotep III. The reason this theory exists is that during his reign as king he abolished the worship of all the Egyptian gods and said we will worship only one god. The true God. If you look into scripture this is something that did occur during Joseph’s lifetime. Needless to say this law did not make him a very popular king. In fact, it got him assassinated.
The next king, if current archeology is correct, would be Tutankhamon. Now this king we know quite a bit about. His tomb was one of the only ones that has ever been found intact. At the back of his tomb there was a small wooden cabinet. The cabinet contained 32 drawers. Inside of each drawer was a statue between two and three inches tall. These statues were the representation of various deities the Egyptians worshipped during his reign. Thirty-two that’s a huge number.