The First Commandment (Ex.20:1-6) 2013.10.2
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.
The contemporary day is able to be called for the time without the fear of God because we cannot feel the fury of the Lord against the idolatry. Moreover, in Cambodia we have to be warned by the commandment of God. So we need to make sure the spiritual feeling that Jonathan Edwards, who one of great awakening movement pioneers in America, had in his heart at the 17th century. He preached the theme, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” depended on Psalm 73 to his congregation. At that time God’s grace was poured out on his congregation and flamed the spiritual fire into the American churches that had been very dull.
When we live in Cambodia that was filled with all kinds of idols, we should feel God’s anger toward the earth. Especially we should have the serious fearful feeling to the God’s horrible hand. Although the world stream have been changed for some rapid trends, the first commandment cannot be changed into the other situation.
Today we have to make sure our spiritual position according to the command.
What is the motive of the first commandment?
1) It is the redemption. Although we cannot know the background of that command about the Dr. Kline’s theology, the text reveals the main motive to us. What is it?
2) Verses says “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.” The Lord emphasized the redemption out of the dominion of Egypt. It means the salvation out of the miserable sin . In other words because of our remission we have to keep the ten commandments. Among them the first commandment is very important for the foundation of all commandments. It means if it does not stand firm on the command, it is impossible to keep the others.
3) What do you assure that you keep the first command in your life? Actually we have many gods in our lives. What are the idols? It is something that we love more than loving God. It may be your money, your honor, your desire, your ego and your pleasure. Although we are born again in our lives we may serve the other gods in our lives. It means that we break the first commandment.
Especially we may commit sin easily in Cambodia because of compromising with our environment. Then we have to return to understand the motive of that command, our salvation. Because of the grace of our salvation we have to keep the first command.
What does the first commandment prohibit?
The first command prohibits to have some gods other than Triune God. The modern people serves several kinds of gods in their lives. Among them two important idols are specific.
What do you think of them?
Mammonism- to love the money. it includes Baal and Asherah etc. Actually they are the gods of prosperity, production, wealth and successfulness. The history of Israel reveals that this idolatry had been followed to their thought and their lives continuously. In the case of Ahab king, they devoted themselves to worship to the Baal. It is the god of mammonism. Today the contemporary people who includes Cambodia people pursue to the money as their god. Do not you think so? This stream flows into the church. Many Christian was fallen down into the mammonism, dollar idols. I expect that our students should break the idol in their lives. Then we can response to God’s calling. So we have to learn the main secret that can control any time, any place, the poverty or, prosperity in Christ. Do you have this secret?
Secular hedonism- to love pleasure. It love the pleasure more than God. It is very big problem. If we have to affection to the secular pleasure we can not follow Jesus. As we know, a metaphor points, in Matthew13: “ “ Why did not the plant grow up? Because some thorn pick into the plant. The Scripture explains because of the thorn. It is the money desire, the worldly anxiety, the pleasure. To response to the calling of God we have to throw away the pleasure in our heart. Today many Christians were tempted by the secular pleasure. learn to enjoy God in our lives.
Cambodia church has to make sure two things, mammonism and secular hedonism. Observe your customs festival. You can find that elements. We ourselves should reject to follow this thing in our heart. And also we have to show the creative spiritual hedonism to the people.
What is the purpose of the command?
Then why does God emphasize to keep the first command? God wants that our lives stand firm on God centric life. With our heart, with our character, with our lives and with our whole volition, we have to serve God because it is the only way to help you, the way of the life. Do you believe in it?
When we come back to your home at pcum ben vacation, you have to go to your house and your village as a evangelist to proclaim the gospel. Whatever you want you can do that but remember our God observe you and count your thinking, your attitude and your behavior. At that time you reveal the God centric life to your family. Go to them, pray, proclaim the gospel to your friend, your family and your village people. Plant your gospel seed in your family and in your village. God shall help you.
My students ! what is your calling? In this time bring your spiritual fruit to us.
This is not take rest time but the proclaiming time to your native villages.
May the grace of God be with you.