Summary: Commandment number 2
• Priorities. In the hustle and bustle of life it is sometimes difficult to keep our priorities in the right order.
• Most of us live a pretty fast paced life. It is so easy to get caught up in the daily grind of making a living and raising a family that we can very easily forget what is important in life. It is easy to lose focus. In the past the focus of people’s lives was taking care of the basic needs in order to survive, today we spend more of our time in the pursuit of keeping the stuff we have accumulated.
• When we get our priorities mixed up it is like working a job and forgetting why we are there and who the boss is. We get in trouble on the job when we forget why we are there and who the boss is. When we forget those two things, we become non-productive and we set ourselves up to be boss.
• When that happens, we will not last too long on the job. The results will not be good.
• The same is true in life. When we forget why we are here and who the boss is, the outcome will not be very good.
• Today we are going to look at the second commandment as found in Exodus 20:3-6. God’s second of His ten “word” or “declarations” reminds us of who we are to worship and serve.
• In the first commandment, God has established who He is, today we are going to start to see what He wants from us.
• Turn with me to Exodus 20:3-6
I. THE COMMAND (3-5A)
A. You shall have no other gods before Me.
• Nearly all the commandments are couched in the negative form of prohibition, because they presuppose the existence of sin and evil desires in the human heart.
• God in this second commandment is telling us that we are to have no gods beyond Him, in addition to Him.
• He is to be the one and only God we have.
• It is important to remember that the Israelites while in captivity for over 215 years in Egypt had come out of a system in which there was a god for everything.
• God was telling them HE is the only God. God was condemning the practice of polytheism (worship of many gods).
B. Practical applications of the command
• Now let us look at the practical application of this command. (READ 4-5a)
• As we look at verse 4 we need to understand the context of what is being said. The Israelites were in captivity for over 215 years. The land of was full of idols and images that represented the gods they served.
• What do you think of when you hear the word “idolatry”? Many will think of the guy in the African jungle worshiping little statues or people bowing down before a big Buddha statue.
• What is an idol? It is something that takes the place of God. For the Israelites, it was little statues that represented the gods of Egypt. For us today it still means that but it also includes ANYTHING we set up ahead of God!
• What is the text speaking of: It is not only evident from the context that the allusion is not to the making of images generally, but to the construction of figures of God as objects of religious reverence or worship, but this is expressly stated in v. 5; so that even Calvin observes, that “there is no necessity to refute what some have foolishly imagined, that sculpture and painting of every kind are condemned here.” With the same aptness he has just before observed, that “although Moses only speaks of idols, there is no doubt that by implication he condemns all the forms of false worship, which men have invented for themselves.”
• Today in the United States I would imagine there are not too many of us who have a shelf of idols we bow down to each day, or do we?
• In an article in a June 14, 1989 edition of Today in the Word we find the following statement: Though we do not face a pantheon of false gods like the Israelites did, we face pressures from a pantheon of false values--materialism, love of leisure, sensuality, worship of self, security, and many others. The second commandment deals with idols. This may be something that most of us can’t relate to--unless we include life goals that revolve around something other than God Himself. What is the object of our affections, our efforts, and our attention? Where does the majority of our time go? On what do we spend the greatest amount of our resources?