Thou Shalt Have No Other gods

For the next ten days, I want to look at each one of the ten commandments. Not looking to teach them to anyone, but rather to use them to just serve a reminder to each and everyone of us of the laws God had bestowed upon us. I believe that the laws God has given us are to be considered gifts to keep us aligned with Christ.

The Ten Commandments: Commandment 1

The first commandment is “Thou shalt have no other gods.” The first place I want to look for further information is in the bible.

Exodus 20:4-6

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Being raised Lutheran I want to look at Luthers Small Catechism

Thou shalt have no other gods.

What does this mean?

We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

I also want to look at the Catholics meaning, because Catholicism is the base of all Christianity. However my web browser refused to open any of the websites I could find. If any Catholic reader knows of a credible source that contains a reference for all Catholics to what they believe, I would love for you to leave a comment below.

After looking at these two definitions of the first commandments, we all feel pretty good about ourselves. We haven’t bowed down to anyone or anything, so we most certainly haven’t made our own false god to worship!.. or have we? This is where I really love Luthers explanation of the first commandment. “We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.”

Fear, Love, Trust

Looking at fear first. How many of us truly fear God? Sure we know of His power, and we know of what He did to the Israelites anytime they turned from Him. But do we truly fear Him in our daily lives? I am not so sure. This is something I want you to think about. Who is someone in your life that you actually fear, and how is it compared to your fear of the Lord?

Us humans are full of sin, we sin day in and day out. In every sin we put the lust(desires, doesn’t have to be sexual)  of our hearts, before God. In sin, we essentially love the sin more than we love God. If we didn’t why else would we commit the sin? While in sin, we are telling God the satisfaction of doing this sin, outweighs my relationship with You. In doing this, we are loving the sin more than God. Not only that, but we are creating an ‘image’ on earth, and placing it above God. Remember God tells us He is a jealous God. Think of a boy/girl friend you might have had in the past, or currently. Remember any jealousy that would arise when he/she would do something that would put you second. It hurt didn’t it? God feels the same way when we put Him second in our lives. What areas of your life do you think you make God jealous?

Trust. This can be just as tricky as love. Do you trust God in every aspect of your life? or do you tend to lean on your own understandings? Over and over again in the bible, we are reminded over how important it is to trust in the Lord. To know He is going to care for us, and protect us. Yet all to often we let our worries control us. I know I can be guiltily of this. We start to worry so much about something in particular, we begin to miss out on everything else. This once again is forming an ‘image’ above God. Instead of obeying God and trusting in Him, we trust in our own understanding and worry. How much of your time do you spend worrying about the outcome of a situation?

One Last Thing

Now one last thing. Quick, what’s three things you couldn’t live without? ……….Your wife/husband/boy/girl friend/etc? Your job? Computer? Phone? Tablet? Best friend? Facebook? Sports? Music? and so on…. How many things did you list in your head before God popped up? Now think about and ask yourselves, are the things that came to mind before God, are they actually closer to your heart than God actually is? It is okay to admit if they are. How are these things affecting your relationship with Christ? Do you put them before Him? Are they becoming your idols? Or are they beneficial to your relationship with Christ?

Ten Commandments:

  1. Thou Shalt Have No Other gods
  2. Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of the Lord, Thy God, in vain.
  3. Remember the Sabbath Day by Keeping it Holy
  4. Honor Your Father and Mother
  5. Thou shalt not kill.
  6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  7. Thou shalt not steal.
  8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
  9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his cattle, nor anything that is his. 

Memory Verse of the Week:

Philippians 2:3

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,


5 thoughts on “Thou Shalt Have No Other gods

  1. Jesus started the church and disciples like Peter, Paul and Timothy help to grow it. (Paul and Timothy were not among the original 12). The early Church was influence by Judaism and not Catholicism.

    1. Yes, correct. I believe it was on one of Pauls missionary journeys in Antioch were the term ‘christian’ was first given to the believers. But I guess I was referring more to the modern church. How all the different versions of Christianity, stem off of Catholicism. And then the early Church itself was heavily influenced by Judaism.

      ………I do not know how accurate this is, but I believe if anyone has a relationship with Christ is a Jew. Not the physical sense, but the spiritual sense. <- I want to do more research on that

  2. Well you asked for it so here it is…the whole section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the 1st Commandment. It is lengthy, so I am going to give you a link to it for those who wish to study it more in-depth, and then quote just one section that I think sums it up very nicely–here is the link–

    Now for a quick summary from that same link–

    2096 Adoration is the first act of the virtue of religion. To adore God is to acknowledge him as God, as the Creator and Savior, the Lord and Master of everything that exists, as infinite and merciful Love. “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve,” says Jesus, citing Deuteronomy.[13]

    2097 To adore God is to acknowledge, in respect and absolute submission, the “nothingness of the creature” who would not exist but for God. To adore God is to praise and exalt him and to humble oneself, as Mary did in the Magnificat, confessing with gratitude that he has done great things and holy is his name.[14] The worship of the one God sets man free from turning in on himself, from the slavery of sin and the idolatry of the world.

    Hopefully that helps!

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