Worship God Alone
‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.’ (Exodus 20:2-3)
Revelation is an amazing book. But imagine how amazing, how overwhelming it must have been for John when he first received that revelation. Overcome by the vision he had experienced, he fell down at the angel’s feet to worship, but was quickly stopped with the words: ‘Do not do it!…Worship God!’ (Revelation 22:9). And this is the constant theme of the Bible: God and God alone is to be worshipped; and therefore false gods and idols are to be avoided at all costs.
This is made clear in the first commandment (our verse for today), a commandment God gave his people after they had left Egypt, a land full of gods and idols. But it would be a commandment repeated again and again at various stages in Israel’s history, especially by the prophets when Israel became enticed by the gods and idols of the Canaanites with their highly sensuous fertility worship.
For most of us in the West worshipping a stone or wooden carving is not an issue; but less obvious forms of idolatry certainly are. Whatever we give most of our energy, passion and time to is our idol. As Jesus put it, ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’ (Luke 12:34). Our western idols are often things like our job, our family, our car, our holiday, our football team, our hobby, our computer games; these are what so often have ‘number one’ place in our life – the place that God says belongs to him alone. Whenever we live like that, we have just bowed down to an idol.
What excites you the most? If the answer isn’t ‘God’, then your answer is an idol! For what I really get excited about is what I really worship. If today you recognize that something has gradually – perhaps almost imperceptibly - pushed God from the central place in your life, then sort it out quickly, for idolatry is something that God truly hates, for it robs us of him – the greatest delight of life.
O Lord, our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us, but your name alone do we honour. (Isaiah 26:13),of refreshing may come from the Lord.’ Acts 3:19)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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