Exodus 20: 1-6 (NIV): And God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. 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.”
If the first commandment is about the heart, the second one is about power and control. We are not to worship any other god, and we are not to create our own gods either. If we create an idol — a god — then we are ultimately in control of it since we are its creator. We set the rules for the religion when we create the god. The idea of bowing to a sculpture may seem silly to us today, but we must be careful not to give our worship to anything except God himself. We create and idol when we give something first place in our lives and our hearts.
God said he is a jealous God who will punish those who hate him and reward those who love him. We see in the world today how people are still suffering from the decisions their forefathers made generations ago. I'm so thankful to live in America, a country founded by men and women who feared the one true God. Even though we answer for our own sins - and only our own sins, the world we live in was established by our ancestors.
Does God have the right to be jealous of us? We must realize that he wants our hearts just like I want my wife's heart. We, the church, after all, are the bride of Christ. We must understand that idolatry is spiritual adultery. Worshiping another god is cheating on the true God. We cannot and should not expect to get away with that. God wants more than first place in our lives, he wants our whole lives. He wants to be the one and only God in our hearts. He wants us to love him with all that we are. When we do he promises to bless us and our children.
Craig Harris is an author and minister. Contact him at email@example.com. To see more, go to www.instantmessagelive.com.