The Ten Commandments
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You shall have no other gods.
What does this mean?
We should fear, love and trust in God above all things.
Life itself is uncertain and that’s putting it mildly. The truth is, life can be downright scary sometimes. You know that to be true. We all do.
But do we have anything to fear? Well, yes and no. A famous world leader once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” That statement is true enough. Fear is our worst fear. Whether we are dealing with serious illness, ours or a loved one’s, financial uncertainties, family problems, job insecurity or whatever our struggle, anxiety can wear us down and we begin to have doubts. We begin to have doubts especially about God’s care and providence. Does he still love us? Is he still there for us? Does he even care?
Usually the sin we associate with the First Commandment is “idolatry,” the sin of worshipping false gods. But “doubt” is actually the root sin against the First Commandment. When we doubt God’s love and devotion to us, we begin looking elsewhere for our security and certainty in life’s challenges and troubles. We sometimes begin to look for security in our possessions. Sometimes we look to escape life’s problems with alcohol abuse and/or drugs. Sometimes even our jobs and occupations become an escape for us when we look for security in their financial rewards. We could give lots of examples of how things become false gods for us when we place our trust in them, rather than in our True and Living God, from whom all blessings flow. The point is, any time we place our complete and full trust in anyone or anything but Him, we sin against the First Commandment.
It is then that we must throw ourselves at God’s feet and say, “What a sinful man I am. Lord, forgive me.” God’s response to our plea for mercy is always “Be of good cheer. Your sins are forgiven.”
Jesus, in His perfect life, kept this commandment perfectly in our place as He placed His full and complete trust in His Heavenly Father’s will. And Jesus paid the penalty for our sin and bore our guilt when He died on the cross. Our Savior God assures us that the blood of His Son Jesus washes away our sin, even those sins of doubt. “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His mercy endures forever.”
O Lord, we place our trust in you and you alone. AMEN.