"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me." (Exod. 20:2-3 ESV)
Question 42: Which is the first commandment?
Answer: The first commandment is, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
Often when Christians here this commandment they immediately begin to think about bowing down to a statue or some object and kissing it or worshipping it. But the commandment to not have any other gods before the one true God is not just a prohibition against engaging in false worship or false religion, it is a prohibition against placing anyone or anything in a position of greater value than God. That is, any time we treat someone or something else as being more important than God, we are violating the first commandment. We are placing other gods above the one true God. When we choose to look at internet pornography in disobedience to God (Matt 5:27-28), lust becomes our god. When we refuse to forgive those who have sinned against us (Matt 6:14-15), we are placing anger and bitterness above God. When we choose to take our children to sporting events on Sunday rather than attend church in disobedience to God’s word (Heb 10:25), our children become our gods. God commands, “You shall have no other gods before me.” Nothing and no one should ever take priority over God.
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