A group of seminary students were given the task of organizing the Ten Commandments in their perceived order of importance. Interestingly, these students felt that the sixth commandment, “You shall not murder,” should be number one on the list. The seventh commandment, “You shall not commit adultery” was also placed near the top, but the group relegated the first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before Me” to the bottom list. They did not think it was all that important.
In God’s listing, however, it is a different story. He puts this commandment at the top of the list. But why is it the number one offense to God? It comes down to this: If you have broken this one, then everthing else will fall apart.
One day a man came to Jesus and asked Him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”. Jesus responded,
“The most important commandment is this: Listen, O Israel!, The Lord our God is the one and only one Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength.” The second is equally important: Love your neighbour as yourself”. No other commandment is greater than this (Mark 12:29).
With these statements, Jesus essentially summed up the Ten Commandments: Put God in His rightful place. Place Him number one in your life.
With the first commandment, God was establishing the fact that He is our God and was showing us His place in our lives.
God is not an impersonal force. Nor is He one of many gods, as polyetheism claims. 1Tim 2:5 reminds that “For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus”.
The Bible says that God is a jealous God. By “jealous”, it does not mean that God is one who is controlling and demanding and flies into a rage without the slightest reason. The jealousy the Bible is speaking of is the jealousy of a loving Father who sees the possibilities and potential of His children and is brokenhearted when those things are not realized, or worse, are wasted and squandered.
Jesus said “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? (Matthew 16:26). Is God number one in your life today? Or are you allowing other gods to crowd Him out?
Never too late to come back to Him if you think you have fallen behind. If you have made a resolution in the beginning of 2018, it’s time now to take stock as we are in the half way mark for the year.
Our God is merciful and gracious. Let’s not disappoint Him and grief His Spirit. Ask honestly, Which God do We serve?
Elder Andrew Lim