Exodus 20:3 – You shall have no other gods before me.
THEME OF THE DAY: OUR JEALOUS GOD. The Bibles tell us that our God is a jealous God. Here are some scriptures reminding us of this truth- “For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God” (Exodus 34:14); “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24); “Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, ‘The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously’” (James 4:5). Perhaps there are some raised eyebrows over this truth. And rightly so if we are interpreting “jealousy” through a flawed human lens. For us, jealousy is bad, very bad. It is defined in human terms and experience as “an unhappy or angry feeling of wanting to have what someone else has.” Yes, that is very ugly for this sin produces a whole lot of other sin – coveting, bitterness, and discontent just to name three. When it comes to our God being jealous, the meaning is obviously not sinful. The word “jealous” in relation to God means “fiercely protective and unaccepting of disloyalty.”
In today’s scripture, we have the first command in the list of ten. It sets the tone for all the rest. Actually, it sets the tone and direction for all of life and especially the Christian life. When it comes to following the Lord Jesus, there are challenges and demands abounding. We fight an unrelenting devil who is pictured as a roaring lion seeking to devour us (1 Peter 5:8). He is constantly on the prowl with the malicious desire to ruin our walk with the Lord. We also have the challenge of facing a world and all its allurements which promise satisfaction but can never deliver. The world is a strong spiritual foe and one of its most powerful ways of damaging our walk with the Lord is its subtlety. The world slowly pulls us away from the things of the Lord leading to a lukewarm heart; the most serious of spiritual conditions. Then, we have the flesh. What a foe we find here. The flesh constantly screams, “ease, comfort, ease, comfort” and will always oppose the calls of the Lord to “self-denial and sacrifice.” But as strong as the devil, world, and flesh are, there is a battle which is far more intense within us. It is a battle that must be confronted with great spiritual resolve. It requires intense prayer, a determined mind, and a “We will not give in” mentality. It is the battle to ensure there are no other gods seeking to sit on the throne of our hearts but the one true God.
Now it would be very easy for us to say, “I don’t have any other gods in my life.” That might not be wise. Consider with me what the one true God demands of us. Remember, He is a jealous God who is fiercely protective of His property, which is us, and will not accept any disloyalty, which means allowing anything or anyone to compete with Him for the supreme place in our lives. In paraphrasing today’s scripture, we find our God saying, “You shall not place anyone or anything above Me in your life.” He simply will not share His rightful place of allegiance or authority in our lives with anything or anyone else. So, think about that for a moment. Are there things and people in our lives which occupy a place above the Lord? Is the god of materialism replacing the one true God in our lives? A good way to determine if that is true is look at the level of sacrificial giving we give to our church for the work of the Gospel. What about the god of human relationships? We may see if this is true by two ways; are we in relationships of being unequally yoked with an unbeliever? Are we allowing activities and choices among our physical families to keep us away from opportunities to fellowship with the Lord and His people? What about the god of pleasure? We live in a culture obsessed with entertainment and pleasure. And don’t we see the devil at work here when a huge amount of worldly activities of entertainment and recreation are on the Lord’s Day? We will quickly know if another god is occupying our hearts if we choose worldly things over spiritual things on the one day of the week the Lord calls “His”.
Yes, God is a jealous God. And that is very good for us because when He captures the priority place in our hearts and minds, our joy explodes and soul-satisfaction occurs. And really, our God is so wonderful, so glorious, He deserves to have no rival by the false gods of this world when it comes to the throne room in our affections.
PRAYER: “Lord, help me to see there is only one sovereign authority in my life and it isn’t me.”
QUOTE: “We cannot have or enjoy Christ on our terms. He is unwavering who sits on the throne of our hearts”.