13 thoughts on “The First Commandment reads:

  1. I have often pondered “…brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.”
    I even went to a bible study and asked of the pastor, how does one get out of Egypt. Egypt is a place of bondage that blocks our walk with the Lord, a real stumbling block. It has
    a hold on us, any one of the addictions could be one – all hand cuff us and make us bow down to them. It could be the evident ones which everyone is always talking about – alcohol, sexual, money addictions or focusing on self or a shopping or gambling problems. Any thing that becomes an idol before us blocks our view of God. (Thus the extreme importance of Commandment 1). All the acts are pure sinful acts. God is the way of freedom. He can help you take the steps you need to get out of Egypt. In my lesson this week with Bible Study Fellowship we looked closely at how Satan gets people to sin by looking at the story of Eve in Genesis contrasted with the story in Matthew about Jesus and Satan tempting him in the desert. Eve heard the voice of Satan saying the fruit of the tree of good and evil would not cause her to die and that she would become like God knowing good and evil. She looked at the fruit and that it looked good and she thought I would like to be wise like God. She then acted on what she saw and thought and acted by taking it to herself and ate of it knowing God said not to touch it or eat it – act of disobedience. Now Jesus on the other hand heard Satan but each time he rebuffed Satan with scripture. Scripture was the sword which sent Satan in the end packing – no devil on Jesus’s back. Satan speaks, shows, and expects us to act on his temptations. We need to be careful of what we hear and see and not act on it but hold the scripture up and walk away. We need to focus on God and He will show us how to walk in freedom from the temptations the world is always offering us.

  2. Personally the last two years I have found the above true in my own life. Having hit a valley in my life I would not have thought I would have to cross, I had to face it. So many have but surely it would not happen to me. I had to face the truth about a 35 year relationship. Cloaked in array of accumulated cover ups both parties suffered. I could only face up to my part. I wanted everything to look good on the outside forgetting that the work of God on the inside is really what makes you shine on the outside. I was disappointed and grieved in my role and I can only speak of myself. I was also heartbroken that the situation had come to this. Sin is a terrible thing to FACE. Without God I could not have lived through it. Without God’s faithful servants praying I don’t believe I could have taken a step forward. The lilies were there all the way through each step.

    Praying and listening I stepped out knowing and trusting God would be there to meet each need. HE ALWAYS DID. What a wonderful God! NO other God’s before me. This went on and continues for the past two years. Perhaps it is not the way I expected but GOD is in it and I know He has been faithful with each step I have taken. I don’t want to turn back now. God I thank you for being a lamp unto my feet and I look forward to the next step with you. I give thanks to all the wonderful Lilies who have been with me in this part of my journey. The Gaither’s have a song entitled I Wouldn’t Give Nothing for My Journey Now, for this journey has drawn me closer to GOD (no other God’s before me) and he leads me out of Egypt.

  3. Rena, your story is one of light’s victory over darkness. Praise God that you had the courage to listen to and obey your godly counselors, even when it seemed impossible, implausible and immobilizing. But in the end you stepped, haltingly perhaps, but reached the next goal. Praise God for that. But as with each and every one of us, including what happened to Jesus in the great temptations, Egypt waits just around the corner to whistle, to beckon, to lure us. It looks so innocently like fun. May there be no more idols before God in any of our lives. We are being awakened and warned now by God’s servants. Jesus said, “Watch! ”
    I join you in praise and thanksgiving for your victories and may you have many more in Jesus’ name.

  4. What does the first commandment mean to me personally? This is like a wake up call to examine what in my life takes precedence over my personal communication with the Lord. Perhaps it’s not a big, obvious golden calf sitting in the middle of my living room; or a tall, many-faced totem that I would bow down before in my prayer room; or a large statue of some Greek or Roman hero. No, the enemy is too sly for that. But it might be about the things in my life that I find that I am consistently putting BEFORE the Lord God Almighty. Things I would do BEFORE [or sometimes instead of] my time with Him. Things that occupy my mind consistently; food, clothes; travel; food, food…oh and food. It could be family; worshipping our babies, pets, ancestors. And then there is the biggie of all times. The “golden calf” in disguies. SELF!
    It is good to look carefully into the first commandment. How wise our God is for HE knew what man is like and that we would need this directive from the throne of God and the warning that these things can and have happened and turned a people…including practicing Christians, against the God of the universe.

  5. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Exodus 20: 1-3) “What does this first command mean to you personally?”

    To me, it means…..anything or any person that I place before God, becomes a god to me, and this commandment strictly prohibits this.

  6. For me it means I am commanded to love Him more than anything or anyone…like Mark 12:30 says…with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. That covers a lot of territory iand is very challenging. In my understanding it means I need to know Him and His truth and live it out daily…in my thoughts, emotions, actions and motives with God and with others.

    1. “In my understanding it means I need to know Him and His truth and LIVE IT Out DAILY…in my THOUGHTS, EMOTIONS, ACTIONS and MOTIVES with God and with others.” Does anyone else, at times, have difficulty “living it out daily”? Maybe the footnotes for Mark 12: 29-31 can help? Footnotes for Mark 12: 29-31 says: “God’s laws are not burdensome. They can be reduced to two simple principles: Love God and love others. These commands are from the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18). When you love God completely and care for others as you care for yourself, then you have fulfilled the intent of the Ten Commandments and the other Old Testament laws. According to Jesus, these two commandments summarize all God’s laws. Let them rule your thoughts, decisions, and actions. When you are uncertain about what to do, ask yourself which course of action best demonstrates love for God and love for others.”

  7. Does that mean i have to put God before my family? How about before my children, my babies, my husband? How about above my mother and father? How would I do that? Do I recognize when I am putting all those people first? How can I be really sure I am NOT doing that when I think I am just “taking care of business”?

  8. I would think so; Matthew 10: 37 “If you love your father or mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.”

  9. Sandy Stillman-Alvin writes; “What we fail to see so often is that our lenses cause us to make mistakes in our interpretations. Our lenses develop from early childhood and are shaped by many, many biases – most often unquestioned and unchallenged biases – that create a sort of shorthand for us as we age.”

  10. I agree that Sandy’s point is well taken. I would even venture to add that “many biases” also create not only a “sort of shorthand for us”, but also SHORTSIGHTEDNESS.

  11. Seems like commandment #1 dovetails #2.
    “Thou shalt not make unto thee any
    graven image or any likeness of any thing
    that is in heaven above, or that is in the
    earth beneath, or that is in the water
    under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down
    thyself to them, nor serve them: for I, the
    Lord thy God, am a jealous God, visiting
    the iniquity of the fathers upon the chil-
    dren unto the third and fourth generation
    of them that hate me; and showing mercy
    unto thousands of them that love me, and
    keep my commandments.”
    1) Worship of creation rather than than creator, Romans 1: 21 ” For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22) Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools. 23) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

    2) Idolatry of the Heart! “Why, O Lord, do you cause us to stray from your ways, and harden our heart from fearing you?” Isaiah 63:15-19 and please read; Hebrews 3:7-19….

    and, it seems at times we think the “10 commandments” do not matter or are just stone idols themselves.

  12. Sara at your advice to read Hebrews 3:7-19 it is very clear that if we have a wicked,stubborn, unbelieving heart and ignore God’s commandments through disobedience that we will never enter ‘My place of rest’. I would think His place of rest is heaven and assurance of salvation. Looks like eternal destiny rests on how we view and treat the commandments.

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