Ten Commandments Redux Part 1

Can you name all Ten Commandments? No matter. Let's take a look at the practicality of the Decalogue for ancient and modern times.

(From Exodus chapter 20)

(verse 7) #1. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.

Do you find it intriguing that God would place this command at the beginning of the list? God may be a jealous God (see Exodus 34:14) but not in the way we think. Any passing study of ancient religion will show that all the indigenous cultures had numerous (and numinous) deities vying for…peoples' spiritual attention (i.e. worship). Not to be flippant, but here you have God's children, His newly formed nation, just released from their 400-year prison sentence. They'd been enslaved to Egypt and steeped in their pantheon only to be released into an equally pagan Syro-Canaanite atmosphere. God had to (re)establish His preeminence as the one, true God.

"What say I then? That the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?" (1 Corinthians 10:19) 

Christians and Jews nowadays don't have to worry about Baal or Isis or Zeus and their adherents as did our spiritual ancestors (see Acts 14:11-12). But beware of the spiritual influence of "devils" (1 Corinthians 10:20) in whatever form it takes. Think about the pull and the pressure of these belief systems and their inherent power to distract someone from acknowledging God.

"Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?" (1 Corinthians 10:22) 

Is there anything in my life distracting me from God? What about the god of self? Pride, deified. Anyone who denies God is essentially worshiping themselves. This question brings the commandment into the modern era with as much intensity and immediacy as it always had. Aside from being our Creator and Redeemer, God is the only god who truly loves us unconditionally.