Summary: The hidden motive back of each commandment is worship. Since everything a Christian does should praise God, all of the Ten Commandments revolve around worshipping God.
A line is drawn through the ages; it extends from Heaven to man and reaches around the earth. The line crosses the deserts of North Africa, and is drawn on the sand at the foot of Mount Sinai. On one side is God and the blessings of Heaven. On the other side is Satan with all the false religions and idols of Hell. That line is the Ten Commandments. Which side of the line will you choose?
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3).
B. WHY COMMANDMENTS?
1. To reveal God. “I am the Lord God.” Reveals God’s self-existing nature.
2. To separate us from the world. “I am the Lord God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (20:2).
3. To help us live right. “Showing mercy . . . unto them that love Me and keep My commandments” (20:6).
4. To keep from being punished. “Visiting the iniquity . . . of them that hate Me” (20:5).
5. To prosper. “That thy days may be long” (20:12).
6. To test us. “For God is come to prove you” (20:20).
7. To seek forgiveness. “An altar of earth thou shalt make unto Me, and shall sacrifice” (20:24).
8. For worship. “I will come to thee, and I will bless thee” (20:24).
C. WHAT DOES EACH PHRASE MEAN?
1. Thou shalt -
Why didn’t God force us to worship only Him? We are given a free choice.
Why does God give us the opportunity to worship other gods? So we can demonstrate our love to Him.
God has given us free will to obey His commandments; what does it mean? We are accountable to Him.
2. Have -
Why didn’t God say own? Borrow.
Why didn’t God say make? Buy.
Why didn’t God say worship? Not even have another god in our possession.
3. No -
What does the word “no” mean? Never, none, not any.
How much time does this mean? Not 50-50, but all.
What does “no” imply? God wants all of me.
“Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matt. 23:37).
4. Other gods -
Why didn’t God say “no other thing”? Because a god elicits passion.
Why didn’t God say idol? The idol only represents the false god.
What is a demon idol? To the spirit(s).
What is a Christian idol? Worship God with world’s means.
WHY DOES GOD RECOGNIZE OTHER GODS?
Because God recognized man’s rebellion.
Because Satan has a false religion.
Because God made man a worshipper.
5. Before -
Does “before” mean in front of God’s space? No, God is everywhere.
Does “before” mean in priority of time? No time with God.
Does “before” mean in God’s attention? No, God knows all.
What does “before” mean to you? Don’t bring a false god into any place of your life, at any time, for any reason.
6. Me -
How does God feel about other gods? Abomination.
What’s left? You and God.
D. WHAT DOES THE FIRST COMMANDMENT TELL YOU TO DO?
1. You are free to worship other gods, but accountable to your Creator, the Lord God.
2. You must make a choice to worship your Creator.
3. You must come in God’s presence. Just as God doesn’t want false gods in His presence. He doesn’t want you in their presence. He wants you in His presence.
4. You must realize your weakness and self-deception. Man is an incurable “idol-maker.”