Lent – Day 3: Friday, 19 February
And God spoke all these words:
2 ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 ‘You shall have no other gods before me.
4 ‘You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 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 parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Here are the first two of the Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses. God sets out his uniqueness and his authority before the people of Israel. There shall be no other gods, for God is the only God, and he assiduously reserves his rights. People may think that jealousy is a sign of vanity on God’s part, but God is not man. He does not need to protect his name, his divine copyright, but He does, and should his people reject the covenant between them and Him, they will be punished. No-one would argue with the Beatles protecting their copyright over the songs they wrote, and the lawyers working on their behalf have the right to claim damages against those who infringe those rights.
God holds the universal copyright to being God, the only God. Any other god is both an invention and an insult to God. His right does not expire – He is God Eternal.
We might find God’s commandments somewhat prescriptive, but rather than punishment of four generations we might care to look instead at the love shown to a thousand generations.
Do the Ten Commandments apply today?
What if God were lax about protecting his uniqueness?
How are God’s rights infringed in today’s world?
Father God, help me to know you as the Only God. Expose in me all worship of that which is not of you, that I may give you that which is yours by right. Amen.