Today’s Tasting: Exodus 19-21: Moses traveled up Mount Sinai, where he received messages from God for the people of Israel. God gave Moses commandments for the children of Israel to live by. So Moses went back down the mountain and told the people the things God had spoken.
This is a summary of the Ten Commandments, given in The Message Bible:
“I am God your God:
No other gods, only me
No carved gods of any size, shape, or form
No using the name of God, your God, in curses or silly banter
Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy
Honor your father and mother so that you’ll live a long time
No lies about your neighbor
No lusting after your neighbor’s house, wife, servant … Don’t set your heart on anything that is your neighbor’s” (Exodus 20: 1-17 MSG).
When the Israelites departed Egypt, the families fell quickly into worship of pagan gods and set up shrines in their honor. They were easily lured into believing that they could embrace these myths, along with the gods and goddesses behind them, and remain faithful to their God and His Covenant. The Israelites identified Baal with Yahweh, yet were fully convinced they were devout followers of the Lord—the One True God (adapted from the Archaeological Study Bible, NIV, Zondervan).
Israel never relinquished serving other gods. They held to the gods of Egypt as they traveled in the wilderness and on to the Promised Land. They were so deceived that they thought they could worship other gods as long as they worshiped God too, or worshiped Him on a certain day, or offered Him sacrifices regularly.
Today’s Nourishment: No other god is like our God. He rescues us from the bondage of slavery to other gods—including sin, self, and the world’s ways. Jesus summed up all the commandments in these two: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27 ESV).
Are we the same as Israel? What might we still be holding on to from our past that we have never relinquished? What other gods might we still serve?
Do we ease our conscience by gathering in a church building once a week, singing the great hymns of old or contemporary Christian music? Do we ease our conscience by placing money in offering baskets? Do we tell ourselves, “I’ll continue to do this one thing or live with this one area that doesn’t hurt anyone but me”: anger, fits of rage, old habits from an old lifestyle? Is God your God, whom you love and worship?
“This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him” (1 John 4:7-10 MSG).
If we have accepted the life offered to us through His Son, the Lord is to become our whole lives, not just a part of our lives. We are to love and have relationship with Him, not just serve Him with doing good things. Is Jesus Christ your God?
Webster’s Dictionary defines a god as “Any person or thing exalted or made an object of supreme devotion; anything that absorbs one’s attentions or aspirations.”
Stop for a moment to ponder: is there someone or something in your life that has become an object of “supreme devotion”? What or whom absorbs your attention? What or whom is at the center of your aspirations?
If you’re honest, the answer will reveal any gods in your life other than God. Resolve to worship God each day and live a Christ-full life.
How does this message connect with you?
What in your life needs to hear this message?
Tomorrow’s Delight: Exodus 22-24
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