What does the first commandment teach us?


To worship God only.

We've talked about how all Ten Commandments work together. When you add them all up like a math problem, you end up with the two Great Commandments. Now it's time to take our Bible microscopes and zoom in on all ten of them, one at a time. Coming in first, of course, is commandment #1! It’s part of the first pack of commandments, a group we call the “First Table of God's Law.” That means it is a command that teaches us how to love God with all of our hearts.

Let's look at what the commandment actually says. In Exodus 20:3, God commands us, “You shall have no other gods before me.” This commandment makes a lot of sense. After all, way back in question four, we learned that there is only one God. All the other “gods” are worthless, made up in the heads of people and crafted into idols of wood, metal, or stone. We should only worship God because he’s the only God that actually exists!

What exactly is worship? Well, our Bibles use that word to mean lots of things. Sometimes “worship” means to bow down. Other times, it means to obey. In some places, it means to give glory and praise to someone. When it comes to the first commandment, the big idea here is to give God your complete loyalty and allegiance, making him the #1 most important person in your life. God is the only one worthy of our worship – we shouldn’t share a single drop with any “god,” anyone, or anything else!

We obey the first commandment when we live like God is our one and only king. We give God our best worship when we treat him as the greatest treasure of all, a million times more valuable and worthy of our attention than anything else. We can demonstrate this by singing him songs of praise and following his commands. When we do the opposite, if we give our worship to anything or anyone else, we break the first commandment. If we treat any created thing (friends, money, stuff) like it’s our greatest treasure, we are giving away worship that belongs only to our great and glorious God!


+ Why do you think God placed this commandment first?

+ What are some created things people give worship to instead of to their Creator?


Is. 45:5, 6; Matt. 4:10; Rev. 22:8, 9, Ex. 20:3; Deut. 5:7, Matthew 6:24

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