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Thursday, June 16, 2011

6/17/11 The First Commandment Deuteronomy 5:6-7 Seek God first

6 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
7 “You shall have no other gods before me.

But seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added to you.   (Mt. 6:33)

(Golden Calf Nicolas Poussin 1633-4)

Thoughts: For many, God is on the back burner.  We call on God when things go wrong, when we worry, or want something.  We worry about many things, and in our worry we become more concerned about things than God.  Some see God as the One whose sole purpose is to give them things.  God is the Deliverer who delivered Israel from Egypt.  But we listen to God not just because He delivers us, but also- and mainly because He is the Lord our God.  He is God who cares about our pain (in Egypt's slavery or elsewhere), and is able to deliver us.  Jesus said a similar thing to the first commandment when He said to seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and then God will deliver us- providing the things we need.  God should not be sought as window dressing.  God is not just the icing on the cake of our lives. He gives us the ingredients for the cake, the ability to make the cake, and the ability to enjoy it.  God is not to be put on the back burner.  God is the all-consuming fire.  No thing, no worry should replace God. 

Prayer:  You are God alone.  Help me to realize that in the way I give myself to you.

John Calvin Abridged:  God requires here that He alone should be worshipped and worshipped without superstition.  We should deduce an affirmation from the negative: namely that they should look to Him alone/  This commandment focuses on the inward worship, whereas the next focuses on the outward worship. 

(Heidelberg Catechism Q. 94) What does the Lord require in the first commandment?  A. That I must avoid and flee all idolatry, sorcery, enchantments, invocation
of saints or other creatures because of the risk of losing my salvation.
Indeed, I ought properly to acknowledge the only true God, trust
in him alone, in humility and patience expect all good from him only, and
love, fear and honor him with my whole heart. In short, I should rather
turn my back on all creatures than do the least thing against his will.

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