Do you worship anything or anyone other than God?
In the first of the Ten Commandments, God said, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). We were created to worship the God of the universe (John 4:24). In our sinful nature, we risk worshiping other gods by desiring them in our hearts. Idols can take the form of metal, green rectangular paper, a bottle, a tick in the electronic banking system, numbers at the bottom of a spreadsheet, a scoreboard, parchment, a body, a philosophy, or even the rush of the next deal.
God elaborated on other gods in the second of the Ten Commandments when He said to Moses: “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:4-6).
Interestingly, the Hebrew word for “generations” is the same word for “circle” — dor, the shape of a ring. Made from precious metal, a ring is symbolic of the abundant value of love. Being circular, a ring is also symbolic of the eternal value of love. It illustrates God’s love that is both exceedingly abundant and never-endingly eternal.
We will either live inside God’s circle of intimacy or we will live outside in idolatry. God made this clear when he gave Moses the Ten Commandments. God is jealous for us, not of us. He desires that we live in His circle of intimacy. The important question to ask is whether we are inside or outside of His circle.
Memorize Exodus 20:3 and recite it each day for the next week.
Are you inside God’s circle of intimacy or outside in idolatry? Are you worshiping any other gods? Examine your calendar and your checkbook register. Both will show you what you value most.