March 7 & 8, 2020

The First Commandment

God gave us the 10 Commandments to teach us about relationships, relationships with Him and with other people.  We’ll study this first commandment by examining:

  1. How the 10 Commandments are about relationships.
  2. Why the Israelites (us) try and keep a distance with God.
  3. The Principle of Priority.
  • God gave us the 10 Commandments to teach us about relationships. 

In Mark 12:30-31, Jesus answered the religious leaders when asked about how to sum up the Old Testament. He said to love God more than anything, which is the point of the first four commandments. He also said to “love your neighbor as yourself,” which is the point of the last six commandments.

In Exodus 20:1-3, God reminded the Israelites that He is their Lord, and He brought them out of Egypt. He freed them from slavery.

Paul says that Jesus frees us from being slaves to sin in Romans 6:6.

  • In Exodus 20:18-20, the Israelites kept their distance while Moses approached God.

Moses and the Israelites wanted to have a deeper relationship with God, but the Israelites wanted that relationship through Moses not themselves.

The people were afraid that they would die in God’s Presence (Exodus 20:19).  Our “old self” always dies in the Presence of God. 

When the “old self” dies, Jesus can live through us.

Moses not only knew what God did but why He did it (Psalm 103:7), which can only happen through relationship.

  • The relationship principle behind the 1st Commandment is “The principle of Priority.” 

Exodus 20:3 says, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” God is not saying that you can have other gods but just make Him first. The word “before” can be translated as “besides” (Isaiah 45:5). It could say, “There is no god besides Me.”

When we put others first, we put God first.

This principle runs throughout Scripture. The Israelites gave their first and their best to God.

In the story of Cain and Able (Genesis 4:3-5), Cain gave some of his fruits for offering while Able gave his first and his best to God.

Jesus speaks of this principle in Matthew 6:31-33 when He tells us to seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness.

When we put God first, the rest falls into place.  In 1 Kings 17:12-17, God provided for the woman who put Him first. We can share in that same blessing if we put Him first in our lives.

© 2020 Hope Community Church