THE FIRST COMMANDMENT –
THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME – Exodus 20


Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Exodus 20:3 ASV

This is the first and great commandment of God, having an expanded meaning as given by Christ, “The Lord our God, the Lord is one: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength” (Mark 18:29-30).

“The Lord is one …” Jewish scholars take this as a denial of the doctrine of the Trinity, but the word for “one” here is [ECHAD], which means a compound unity, being used here and in such statements as “the people are one.”

The word for an absolute unity is [ACHID].

The use of plural words for God in Genesis strongly suggests plurality in the Godhead.

“This is the great and first commandment …” (Matthew 22:38).

Why is His commandment greatest and first?

This is true because all other commandments derive from it.

Why is it a sin to murder?

Because all men are made in God’s image, making the crime of murder a crime against God.

Joseph identified adultery as primarily a “sin against God” (Genesis 39:9); and so on, for all the others.

Hitler rejected God and the Bible as God’s Word, and promptly concluded that it was proper to make soap out of his enemies.

And we might add that, apart from faith in God, Hitler was exactly right! Yes, everything depends upon this “great and first commandment.”

Once a person denies or forsakes this first and greatest of all obligations, the denial and repudiation of all or any other duties becomes infinitely easier.

It is exactly here that the failure of our generation is most evident.

Man’s vain and inglorious efforts to disassociate human obligation from all external authority is the basic error.

The arrogant and atheistic dictum of humanists to the effect that, modern science makes unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values, deifies man himself and places within wicked and fallible men the source of all authority.

The eternal word reveals the truth about that, and here it is: “It is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).

Thus, it is this commandment that polarizes the soul with reference to the Creator, establishing irrevocably the direction and the issue of every life.

Here is where it all begins!

The first and great commandment is indeed light from God, establishing and maintaining man’s proper relation to the one true God of the universe.

Without this, there can be no real authority for any commandment.

A Jewish writer called this commandment, the greatest discovery ever made, but, of course, this was not a discovery; it was revelation from God.

Do people today need this injunction?

Indeed they do.

The pantheon of the old pagan gods is no longer around, but Venus (sex), Bacchus (wine), Mars (power), and all the rest of them: Gold, Fashion, Fame, Ease, Intellect, Travel, War, Passion, Chance, Drink, etc. are all very much still in business! Science, especially, is the god of many.

Look what Science has done for us, but unless the supreme authority of God, through our honoring of it, enables us to control all those things that science has given us, we shall only destroy ourselves.

This impressive list of humanity’s current “gods” is as valid today as ever.

Humanism is the current popular “god”, the same being nothing other than the deification of man himself.

Here is the present-day echo of the primeval rebellion against God, “Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5), advocated by Satan himself.

The temple of the future, not the temple of all the gods, but the temple of all the people, wherein will be celebrated the religion of Humanity!

Educational leaders and even theologians have emerged as the “high priests” of this Satanic religion.

The major theme of it was stated thus: The sovereign for us is just ourselves when we cooperatively insist on providing what we ourselves want.

But what a miserable god is Humanism!

Humanity must be blind to its follies and sins, insensible to its weakness and miseries, and given over to the madness of a boundless insanity, before it can raise an altar and burn incense to itself.

Therefore, if mankind would improve world conditions, if they would reduce crime, conquer selfishness, procure any measure of peace and happiness to the world, or destroy the fatal cancer of lust and hatred gnawing at the vitals of society, then let them acknowledge our dependence upon God.

Let them honor the first and great commandment.

No other prescription will do it. All other possible objects of ultimate loyalty are fictitious.

Let man return to the worship of God!

There can be nothing except overflowing sorrow in any other course.

This evil people, that refuse to hear my words, that walk in the stubbornness of their heart, and are gone after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is profitable for nothing.
Jeremiah 13:10 ASV

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