Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Deuteronomy 5: 1-21 Then Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: “Hear, O Israel, the statutes and the ordinances which I am speaking today in your hearing, that you may learn them and observe them carefully. The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb. The Lord did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us, with all those of us alive here today. The Lord spoke to you face to face at the mountain from the midst of the fire, while I was standing between the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain. He said, ‘I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. ‘You shall have no other gods before Me’. ‘You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to 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 leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. ‘Observe the sabbath day to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant or your ox or your donkey or any of your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you, so that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the Lord your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day. ‘Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the Lord your God gives you. ‘You shall not murder. ‘You shall not commit adultery. ‘You shall not steal. ‘You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. ‘You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, and you shall not desire your neighbor’s house, his field or his male servant or his female servant, his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.’
“Idol making factories” is a term John Calvin used to describe the heart of man. When you think of an idol, something that is worshipped as God, rather than the One True God, what comes to mind? Golden calves? Little household idols? Nebuchadnezzar’s statue of gold? Some things that people bow down to rather than God are easy to recognize. Maybe some of you can remember the prayer rug and statue that the Catholics used to bring to the abortion clinic and kneel down before. It would probably be safe to say that none of us here are bowing down to statues. Brother Tim most likely doesn’t have a golden calf hidden somewhere on his property.
We must remember what the bible says regarding the heart of man on this issue: it is deceitful and wicked above all else, who can know it? The idols we shape for ourselves will be subtle, crafty little things. They will oftentimes be things that have been meant by God to be for our good, and enjoyment, to the praise of His Glory, but we wind up worshipping the thing created rather than the creator. ‘You shall have no other gods before Me’ is the command set before us today. This command is not saying that God is sympathetic towards you having other “gods” in your life, so long as you don’t place them ahead of Him. He isn’t giving you permission to have an area of your life where some other little minor gods have a percentage of your devotion. “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his redeemer, the LORD of hosts: I am the first and I am the last; besides Me there is no god” (Isaiah 44:6). To shape an idol in your mind, whether it is money, fame, sex, peace, comfort, food, power, or any other thing your imagination can conceive, reveals a heart of pride and rebellion. Romans 1 tells us what can be known about God is plain to us. His invisible attributes are clearly perceived. We know God, but do not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him. We claim to be wise: “Did God really say?” “A little of this won’t hurt.” “No one knows but me.” We become fools: “there is no God, but the little god I have fashioned in my mind, with my intellect, my wealth, to meet my desires”. Romans goes on to say when we engage in idolatry we exchange the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, and birds, and animals, and creeping things. As a result God gives us over to the lusts of our hearts, dishonorable passions, and a debased mind.
Brothers and sisters, your Heavenly Father loves you. He wants the best things for you. The commandment before you today is not meant to deprive you of joy. It was not handed down to us as a way to keep you from the good things in life. It was handed down because our Creator is Magnificent, Glorious, Almighty, Worthy of Worship, and is the best thing possible for you. He alone sits on the throne. He is a jealous God and will not share His glory with another. When we fashion idols for ourselves, we make ourselves out to be God, knowing better than Him, and will be destroyed lest we repent.
Revelation 5:11-14 NASB
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands,  saying with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing."  And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, "To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever."  And the four living creatures kept saying, "Amen." And the elders fell down and worshiped.
May this be our response to God at the command: You shall have no other gods before Me. If you are able, let us kneel and pray, calling out to God for mercy.
Most gracious heavenly Father. We thank You for Your Son Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We thank You for Your reign of Righteousness, and Goodness, and Justice, and for the hand of grace and mercy You have extended to the sons of man. Father, we are weak, frail, and though Your children, are still frequently enchanted by the false hope of other gods we have created in our own hearts and minds. We have sinful desires which lead us to take our eyes off of You, pursuing instead after worthless idols which cannot save. Please give us new affections O Lord. Please help us to see Your glory clearly and delight in You. Help us to hear Your voice over all the other distractions of life. Father, help us to trust in You with all our heart, and lean not on our own understanding. Please forgive for our grievous sins against You. It’s in Jesus Name that we pray, Amen.
Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. | Titus 2:11-14
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
(From the 4/14/19 liturgy of Sovereign King Church written by Aaron Sabie)
Sunday 10:30 AM