christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

have no other gods before God

Previously: Learning righteousness and wickedness from the ten commandments

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chr 7:14

We saw that God has already defined for man what is righteousness and sin. His definition is contained in Torah. We saw that the Torah is summarized by the Ten Commandments, that the Ten are summarized by the Two Great Commandments, and that the Two are summarized by the one verb, Love. We saw that the Torah, the Law of God, is the Law of Love.

So, in order to understand why God is calling His people, who are called by His name — not the unrighteous, atheists, or unbelievers — to turn from their wicked ways, we are looking at the definitions of righteousness and wickedness explained in Torah and summarized by the Ten Commandments.

We saw that the majority of the book of Deuteronomy explains what keeping the Ten looks like (as the purpose of the book is to “explain this Torah”, Deu 1:5).

The Ten Commandments are given in Deu 5. The First Commandment, Have no other gods before YHVH, is explained in Deu 6:4-11:25.

Now the chapters leading up to Deu 5 recounts the history of Israel since leaving Egypt, and in it we find an amazing truth: Israel by faith put the blood of the Passover Lamb on their doorposts and were saved from the Angel of Death by it, and were miraculously delivered from Egypt in the power of the Spirit – and even went through the Red Sea in a type of baptism – and yet of that entire generation, not one of them save Caleb and Joshua entered the Promise. The saved generation who were in covenant with YHVH, feared the giants rather than YHVH – and did not enter in because of unbelief (Heb 1:) – and that unbelief is the same as idolatry!

When we believe not YHVH or His Word, we have set other gods before Him! In fact, He thundered His Word and His commandments from the midst of the fire on Mount Sinai, so that Israel would know that YHVH is God and there is no other.

That YHVH alone is God, and beside Him there is no other, is in fact THE Commandment, the First Commandment. First and foremost, obedience to the First Commandment springs from the root of belief in the truth of the Words of YHVH. This is why the enemy has marshaled so much fire power against the truth of God’s Word, especially the foundation of God’s Word, Genesis and Torah, so strongly in these past 200 years. If he can destroy the foundation of belief, he can cause massive defection from worshiping YHVH alone as God.

Secondly, obedience to the First Commandment must come from the circumcised heart which loves YHVH. This love comes from the understanding with awe, that YHVH has indeed first set His love upon us, who of all others, are unlovely! In fact He does not desire observance to religious duty, but He desires a relationship born out of that love! Thus the covenant keeping on both sides is from a heart of consuming love for the other party.

We saw that YHVH needs no help in keeping His love for us alive, but that we can help ourselves to keep our love for Him alive (and thus our obedience to The Commandment, the First Commandment) by some simple principles.

Keep His Word first in our hearts, and ever before our eyes (listen to it, pay heed to it, observe it, and teach it), and

Do not mix or dilute His Word or His worship with worldly practices.

Continued: 2012 nov 26, deu 6:4-7:11, because YHVH loves His people

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