God's First Commandment

When I was a kid growing up in the church my mother and father taught us to observe the Sabbath Day. On the Sabbath there was no other activities allowed other than church activities. That was the Lord’s Day. For my siblings and I our Lord’s Day was Sunday School at 0930, Morning Worship at 1100, Evening Service at 1500 and BTU (Baptist Training Union) at 1800. It was at one of those BTU sessions when I learned the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments. I remember having to get up in front of the congregation and recite the Ten Commandments. I remember being told that we must always obey the Ten Commandments and if we did God will be pleased with us. As a kid I remember thinking that some of those Commandments did not apply to me like; do not murder (Sixth Commandment), or commit adultery (Seventh Commandment), or false witness against your neighbor (Ninth Commandment) and covetous (Tenth Commandment). OK, to keep it real I had a little trouble with numbers 9 and 10 even at age 10. But I had number 7 down pat.

God’s First Commandment is; Thou shall have no other gods before me. At an elementary level I think I got this one as well but I am no longer a kid so I think this First Commandment deserves a closer examination. The Commandment mentions gods so there must be multiple little ‘g’ gods that I must not place above the True God as that would be a sin. But what are these little ‘g’ gods that I should be mindful of?

You probably know of some things but let’s take this discussion to another level. When we worship the creation instead of the Creator, that’s breaking the First Commandment. Worshipping creation is things like mountain worship; sun worship, animal worship and the list just go on and on. Worshipping creation instead of the Creator is called Gaia Worship. Gaia Worship thinks of the earth as a deity as the actual mother of all things. This makes God the actual Creator of all things secondary and that is a sin. I love sunshine. The heat makes my bones feel good. My spirits are higher and I appear more motivated and enthused when the sun is shining. However, how do I feel when it rains? My grandmother taught us that when it rains, that is God doing his work and we should honor God. At my grandmother’s house when it rained we had to turn off the TV to sit around the living room to talk to each other or play games or read the Bible. But I have since grown up from the time when I sat in my grandmother’s living room. Now when it rains, I complain!

I think the First Commandment is teaching us that we should love God for everything that God does. We should honor God for His infinite wisdom. If the sun is shining, we should honor God. Our bodies are made up mostly of water and without water there would be no life.  So when it rains, we should honor God. I don’t think I honor God for who He is enough. I don’t have an altar at my house to pray. I just pray wherever I am. I think it is good to be able to pray wherever you are; however, I want to take my honoring God to another level. I want to honor God above the level I was at over fifty years ago. If you look at the Buddhist religion they have a small altar mounted on the wall outside the front door of their home as well as have some form of altar in their home to acknowledge their god. If my God is greater than their god, why do I not honor him with an altar in my home for prayer? I think I am going to make some form of an altar in my home to pray. Nothing too fancy but just a little something where I can go to get down on my knees to say thank you Lord for loving me. Thank you Lord for blessing me with rain and sunshine. Thank you Lord for the troubles in my life. Thank you Lord for the strength to deal with those troubles. Thank you Lord for my family, my wife, my children and children’s children. Thank you Lord for a reasonable measure of good health. Thank you Lord for being an awesome God!