“Do not have other gods besides Me.“
Exodus 20:3 (HCSB)
Note from Kip…
We have heard or read this time and time again. It is one of the pinnacles of everlasting truth in God’s Word. He wants, literally and figuratively, nothing standing between Him and us.
When the Children of Israel were in the wilderness, God even laid this out in a format that they could understand clearly. Perhaps some of this gets lost to us today.
“Do not make a treaty with the inhabitants of the land, or else when they prostitute themselves with their gods and sacrifice to their gods, they will invite you, and you will eat their sacrifices. Then you will take some of their daughters as brides for your sons. Their daughters will prostitute themselves with their gods and cause your sons to prostitute themselves with their gods.“
Exodus 34:15 (HCSB)
One of the worst things that people could do at the time was adultery. It was commonplace for an adulterer to be taking out and put to death immediately after their guilt was discovered. Peoples attitude regarding adultery was impressed upon them by the spiritual teaching.
This passage in Exodus brings up things that we can apply to our lives today.
First, God is warning them not to establish a social pack (treaty) with the inhabitants of the land. These people didn’t know God. Didn’t care to know God, and engaged in numerous activities and practices that frankly God found abhorrent. So, much so that He pairs it with ‘adultery’.
Next, He tells them ‘look, if you do, their practices will be come your practices!’ When that happens, you will be committing adultery; Spiritual Adultery.
That was then and this is now
Yes this is now, and perhaps we don’t put the social outrage on adultery as they did then, but the parallels to draw from this are still just as valid.
What the world practices, God finds repulsive. We live in the world but we are not of the world. What God was saying to the Israelites was that he wanted nothing between them and Him. Don’t let the people in the land separate you from me, is what God was impressing on them.
He says that today for us. The world around us is represented by the ‘people I the land’. The gods that they worship are self, greed, sexual explicit behavior, gluttony, and hate. The list is endless, but because God isn’t present in their lives, the world adopts anything and everything as their gods.
And often, we do as well.
Remember the point of this was God telling them ‘nothing between us’. God is saying, absolutely nothing separates you from me! Yet, we do.
No act is as disgusting to God than allowing something to come between us and Him, yet we not only allow it, we persist in it. Social events, hobbies, school related events, sport, our past times; all things that we can and do place ahead of our relationship with the Creator.
“Consider how the wildflowers grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! If that’s how God clothes the grass, which is in the field today and is thrown into the furnace tomorrow, how much more will He do for you — you of little faith?
Don’t keep striving for what you should eat and what you should drink, and don’t be anxious. For the Gentile world eagerly seeks all these things, and your Father knows that you need them.“
Luke 12:27-30 (HCSB)
I like how the old King James phrases verse 29, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God”. Don’t keep striving to be like the world and making the things of the world a greater priority in your lives over the things of God.
Seek first the kingdom of God, and all the things that are important, God knows our need and will provide. Make Him the priority, nothing between us and Him, and He will supply our needs.
The God who made the world and everything in it — He is Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in shrines made by hands. Neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives everyone life and breath and all things.
Acts 17:24-25 (HCSB)
Don’t commit ‘Spiritual Adultery’!
Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 (HCSB)
Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.
Hebrews 11:6 (HCSB)
But You, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in faithful love and truth.
Psalms 86:15 (HCSB)
Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.
Acknowledge that Yahweh is God.
He made us, and we are His, — His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For Yahweh is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations.
Psalms 100:2-5 (HCSB)
Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way He has opened for us through the curtain (that is, His flesh), and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.
Hebrews 10:19-22 (HCSB )
But we encourage you, brothers, to do so even more, to seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, so that you may walk properly, in the presence of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone.
1 Thessalonians 4:10-12 (HCSB)
I also saw the Holy City, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband.
Then I heard a loud voice from the throne: Look! God’s dwelling is with humanity, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will no longer exist; grief, crying, and pain will exist no longer, because the previous things have passed away.
Revelation 21:2-4 (HCSB)