Question 9: "What does God require in the first, second, and third commandments?" - Exodus 20:3-7

QUESTION: What does God require in the first, second, and third commandments?

ANSWER: First, that we know and trust God as the only true and living God. Second, that we avoid all idolatry and do not worship God improperly. Third, that we treat God’s name with fear and reverence, honoring also his Word and works.

Part of growing up is coming to terms with the rules and boundaries that are in place to protect us. What are some rules your parents or teachers enforced that you can now appreciate?
  • God called on Israel to be different from the surrounding nations by being a “one God people” and by learning to relate to God through his actions and words. 
  • The three commands to have no other god but God, to not make idols, and to not use God’s name for one’s own purpose are designed to cause us to flourish in our relationship with God and to protect us from forces that diminish our humanity. 
  • True freedom is being freed from living under a bad authority to that of living under a good authority.
Exodus 20:3-7
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me. But showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
There are many pressures in our current culture that push Christians to false gods or to false (vain) worship of God. Describe some of these pressures and what happens when Christians lose their way when they succumb to them?
Read this article if you want an “outsider's” perspective on Christian compromise.
On this side of the death and resurrection of Jesus, we can see the “why” behind these commandments in the same way that becoming an adult gives us perspective on rules our parents gave us. How does the Gospel emphasize the wisdom in these 3 commands?

This week, notice how the culture around us and our own flesh pushes us either towards idolatry or “vain” worship. List these pressures and talk about them next week at FG.
One and Only God, your name is above all names, and we come before you in reverence and fear. Keep us true to your commandments. Reveal to us any false gods in our lives. Let us worship you alone in spirit and truth. Amen.