Christians today do not have the problem of worshipping other gods – or do we? When we give our lives over to God, He becomes our loving master and desires all our worship. Because He loves us He gives us many gifts. Unfortunately we often become enamored with the gifts and forget the Giver. By putting more effort and time into these God-given blessings than we put into our relationship with Him, we have elevated another “god” before Him.
Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”
Today’s verse is the first of 10 commandments that God gave to the children of Israel on Mount Sinai. God had miraculously brought them out of Egypt where they had been enslaved for 400 years. In Egypt Pharaoh was considered a god to be worshiped along with many other so-called deities. The Lord wanted His children to understand that He was their master now and demanded their exclusive worship.
When Dad and I were first married we lived in an apartment complex where there were many working couples who would travel into New York City for their jobs. They were not often at home, so we were somewhat lonely. Eventually we met a couple about our age whom we wanted to get to know. We invited them over for dinner hoping to develop a friendship. I spent many hours preparing the food and cleaning the house. When they arrived we were so pleased to sit down to eat with them and get to know them. The joy was short-lived because soon after we were done eating the man announced that they needed to leave so he could get home in time for the basketball game that was on TV that night.
They thanked me for the food and went out the door. They were not even in their cars before I broke down in tears. I wanted to serve them a nice dinner, but I didn’t do it for that reason alone. What I wanted was a relationship. They took the gift and forgot the giver.
I think this must be how God feels when we spend so much time, money, and energy enjoying the gifts He gives and yet never have time to spend with Him in prayer or Bible study. How would we respond if God asked us to give up that game, money, position, house, etc? Would we cling to these other gods or would we gladly relinquish them because the Giver is the most important?
What do you love more – the gifts or the Giver?