Exodus 20:3,17: “You shall have no other gods before Me . . . You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

August 23rd, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

In the Decalogue (the Ten Commandments), the thoughts and desires of the human heart do not escape God’s attention. The first 9 commandments may seem to be focused on external acts, with no relation to internal thoughts, but that’s simply not true. God is always looking at the condition of the human heart. God was moving toward a more intimate and transforming relationship with His children at Sinai. In fact the first commandment that we should “have no other gods before” God (external) and the last commandment that we must not covet (internal) are very closely related.

“Before Me” means, “over against me” or “in front of Me,” and God is talking about making and worshiping idols in our lives. All false gods stand in opposition to God Almighty, and the worship of them is irreconcilable and completely incompatible with the worship of the true God. We will see over and over again that whenever Israel left the worship of the Living God, she fell into confusion.

You may be thinking, “I’m not guilty of idolatry.” Really? Is there anything you fear more than God? Is there anything you love or serve more than God? How about anything you trust more than God? Is there anyone or anything in your life that takes precedence over God? To covet simply means to have a strong longing to have what another has, and God says it is sin. Coveting reduces people to things and makes material things into idols. It turns a relationship with wife and family, as well as with a neighbor, into commitments of convenience. Coveting attempts to make relationships secondary. When we covet, we displace God from the center of our life, replacing God with “me.” We are putting ourselves “in front of God,” and that’s idolatry. But the solution is simple. We must confess, repent, and put Jesus back on the throne as the rightful Lord, Ruler, and Master!

“LORD, rule our lives this day we ask in Jesus’ name.”