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May 16, 2020 2:00 am
The first four commandments are vertical ones: they define our relationship to God. The second six are horizontal: they define our relationship to others. The first commandment on God's "top ten" is the most basic building block for anyone who would claim or seek any relationship to God at all. Every one of God's requirements for mankind flows from His character and nature as Sovereign God. So why is God so exclusive? And why is this the most important command?
This teaching is from the series God's Top Ten.Links:
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I've spoken to a lot of different people when it comes to God and spiritual things. They just make stuff up will I sort of feel and I kind of think and it seems to me, and I'll even say I'm a very spiritual person, but there's no revelation that's all in the imagination there. Imagining there making it all. Well, God has given us a revelation of don't have to make things up for supposedly follow what the Lord our God reveals about himself. This is who is have you ever looked for shapes in the clouds with her big and puffy you can be a fun exercise and strange as well. You want you know if it were someone else's a goldfish or Dragon where there's a product is a fairly subjective exercise today hearing correctly Skip weekend edition skip. Isaac opens up the first commandment you shall have no other gods before me. And with that commandment comes a question. Is God subjective like those clouds to be defined as we which orders you have specific parameters of making God which we are required to follow will talk about that today, as we join Skip for our newest teaching series, God's top 10. This teaching first things first before we get the less you would faster Skip is for you this month correctly Skip or set never walk into a movie like you may never catch up one seems to the Bible is the opening book your questions Genesis is the foundation it's the ground floor.
If we don't understand the book of Genesis, we won't understand what follows the book of Genesis. That's divisive reminding that our redemption, death and resurrection starts in the book of Genesis, God says to Satan, I will put enmity between you and the woman between your seed and her seed promise the sea thought of the rest of the Bible rediscover the foundation of your faith and understand the book of Genesis. Our gift to you $35 or more today. Request your copy when you get online securely connectwithskip.com/Oliver or call 890 280-800-9218 88. So how we defined God sets the standard for the rest of our life and his word has specific insight to help us will see more that today with this teaching part one of first things first, let's join Skip Heitzig in Exodus chapter 20 verse one.
Now I have read that the American atheist Society wants their own holiday.
Sort of like Christians have Christmas and those in the Jewish faith have Hanukkah and there's been several suggestions like a day called agnostic, seriously, that is celebrated on December 14. Others have suggested they have suggested Festiva's which is really something to come from a Seinfeld episode. Others have suggested Halloween I'm suggesting perhaps April 1 wouldn't be a bad take on it because the Bible declares it's the fool that has said in his heart there is no God.
A better translation would be the fool has said in his heart. No God, not there is no God, not denying the existence of God per se, but really know God for me to personal choice. The fool has said that when we open the Bible, we discovered that it's as if an assumption is made that those were going to be reading it are aware of God's existence because it just starts out in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth is no philosophical argument for his existence just God creating why because once again it would be foolish to deny the existence of God as well as foolish to say no to God Dr. Adrian Rogers tells an interesting story said that there is a trucking company down in the South that as part of the hiring requirements. You have to take a lie detector test and one of the questions they asked those taking the test is do you believe in God and according to Adrian Rogers and this trucking company that even the avowed atheist who says no on the test. It comes up on the polygraph lie so first things first. Tonight in our study God.
How do we relate to God. What does God basically require of us, we discover basically God expects two things ready here they are supreme devotion to him. Number one, and sincere affection for others supreme devotion for him and second sincere affection for others. That's why, as we've already noted last week in our introductory comments that there are two tables of the law, there is the first four commandments and the second six Commandments in the first floor we noted were vertical.
They are theocentric God centered.
The second six are horizontal their anthropocentric their man centered, they have to deal with dealing with people on this horizontal level. Even Jesus summed up the law in Mark 12 saying you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind all your strength. This is the first and the greatest commandment. And the second is like it you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. So today tonight and in the weeks ahead. This is gonna be our focus, and let's look at the first three verses which is the first commandment and its introduction God spoke all these words, saying I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. So we begin right where God begins, God begins with himself. He is the top priority for everyone you know some years back.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica started putting out the introduced 55 volume set called the great books of Western civilization of the great books of the Western world, and it's the compilation of great minds. Great thinkers on all sorts of different subjects ideologies from art, medicine, law, etc. it has been noted that the the longest essay in these books is the essay on God and Mortimer J. Adler, who is the executive chairman of the Encyclopaedia Britannica at the time was asked why in this what he said it's because more consequences for life follow from that one issue than any other issue is the biggest essay because the stakes are so high. If there is a God, there is a moral law. He's the creator of all things. There is a moral law, and there are consequences if there is no God, then really, nothing makes sense.
There is no moral law, and is just a stab in the dark is just a guess. More consequences follow from that issue. What if the fool has said in his heart.
No, God would you say in your heart you say yes God and so we find out tonight in this first commandment. What God requires of us and our relationship to him. So there's three basic parts to this first commandment. And the first two parts formed the basis for the third part and you'll see what I mean is we get into it. The first part is God's claim. The second part is God's care and based upon his claim in his care.
Come the first command.
So the command is built and predicated upon God's claim in God's care that is basically saying this is who I am to you. This is what I've done for you.
Therefore this is what I expect from you or I want from you so let's go back to the first and second verses and the Lord spoke or God spoke all these words, saying here's his claim. I am the Lord your God, stop right there hundred and 64 times in the Old Testament alone is this phrase I am the Lord, and sometimes it's I am the Lord your God or I am the Lord their God or I am the Lord who did this or did that hundred and 64 times. I am the Lord, and sometimes it's an introduction usually it's a premise for a commandment. It's like here's the ultimate reason you want to do this because I'm the Lord you may remember coming home or your parents coming home. I should say and they may be you disagreed with a certain thing they wanted you to do and you said why should I do that and they would simply say I'm your dad. That's why because I said so. And usually when you're a kid, I was enough right, you didn't.
If you are smart go beyond that I am the Lord. So God begins with this bold declaration. I am the Lord your God. And so what we see is God stakes his claim with his name. Now we do know how to pronounce the name of God here.
If you are reading the Hebrew it's a tetra grandma Tana for letters for consonant word that is typically said Yahweh will pronunciation Jehovah. It's the ineffable unpronounceable name of God that probably means I am that I am where I will be that I will be. It's God, the self existent one nobody made him up. Nobody created him.
He is who he is.
He is completely self existent completely self-sufficient and he stakes his claim with his own name. Now notice that the first command that God gives in the top 10 is not you shall believe in the Lord your God and say that and say thou shalt not be an atheist because again there is that assumption. It's the fool who has said in his heart there is no God. I always love the story about the atheist in the Quaker who had a conversation in the atheist thought he could mentally work the Quaker out of his belief in God and the atheist said have you ever seen your God, and the Quaker said no. The atheist went on. Have you ever heard God no. Have you ever touched God. No have you ever smelled God in the Quaker said no or as a Quaker would say nay in the atheist smugly smiled several than hot even though there is a God Quaker smiled and said, hast thou seen thy brain hast thou touched thy brain, and hast out, smelled my brain. The atheist indignantly set course not.
And, of course. What followed you can expect and how does thou know that thou even has to brain said the Quaker so in this top 10 list and this first command.
There's no apology given.
There's no explanation there's no argument for the existence of God. There's no philosophical clarification.
Rather, a bold declaration. I am the Lord your God, that's important to note because everything that follows is a revelation from that one true God. I remember years that I spent working toward a Masters degree and having to take courses in philosophy and philosophic thought. And you know I discovered these philosophers are confusing bunch of folks I mean it isn't wearisome to read imports through their thoughts and their Etchings and their wrangling. One person said philosophers are people who talk about things they don't understand, but they make it sound like it's your fault. All questions and no answers. And I've spoken to a lot of different people when it comes to God and spiritual things. They just make stuff up will I sort of feel and I kind of think and it seems to me, and I'll even say I'm a very spiritual person, but there's no revelation it's all imagination there. Imagining things there making it all up while God is given us a revelation of himself.
We don't have to make things up, or suppose we follow what the Lord our God reveals about himself and the word. This is who he is. I heard about a golfer who was very very frustrated with his game. Some of you can really relate with and every time he got on the golf course and he got he came off fuming with higher blood pressure than he went on so the psychiatrist that he went to said you know you gotta do is play a normal game of golf, using all the same clubs going through all the same note motions, but use an imaginary ball.
Don't use a real golf ball. Just go out there and imagine in your mind what eyeballs can ago do a whole round of golf that way so guy went on did it when he took out his driver and he keep teed up his imaginary ball and he swung and imagine that it went 260 yards right on the fairway is out is pretty fun is a good shot any took out his five iron for the next shot and basically parred the first phone had a great round of golf on the 18th hole. He met another guy doing exactly the same thing he was saying thing the same shrink.
So the first I said that you know what all player this last hole golf and I'll bet you 20 bucks so the first guy gets up there and swings and he announces that was 280 yards right down the fairway. The second guy gets up tees up his imaginary ball swings in the announces that look on right next to you on the first drive middle of the fairway. They drive down their car get to that shot the take other five irons in the first guy swings and he says did you look at dad went hit the back of the agreement and then with that reverse spin. It rolled right in the hole and so he announced Taiwan, but second I said no you didn't. You hit my ball seat when you make things up. You can say and believe just about anything and a lot of people will go through life with an imaginary God that they make up. They don't get it from Revelation is all imagination.
Why are there so many ideas in this world about God. One reason because people have pushed aside, rejected and suppressed what God is revealed about himself Romans chapter 1 tells us the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all godlessness and wickedness of men who slip press the truth by their wickedness. So from the beginning man is pushed away and suppressed God's self revelation as we have in his word so he announces. I am the Lord your God stakes his claim with his name now look at second part of that I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
If the first part was this is who I am to you. The Lord your God. The second part is and besides who I am. This is what I've done for you.
I delivered you out of bondage out of Egypt. That's redemption, that's for us what we just celebrated a few moments ago in taking the Lord's supper redemption, not redemption is what set Israel apart from all the other nations, they would celebrate once a year Passover celebrating. They have been delivered from slavery in Egypt and it was so dramatic a deliverance that it spoken of virtually everywhere throughout the Bible.
You notice that in the Psalms and the prophets. There always point back that is their major frame of reference. God delivered us out of Egypt. They would always make reference to that while I'm I'm delving into this because this truth sets up the first two Commandments on the Lord your God, no other gods before me know graven images, no idols, so keep in mind this group of people, the children of Israel had been delivered from Egypt and in Egypt. The Egyptians worshiped a host of gods and goddesses all whole pantheon of deities that were false deities. So if I can just paraphrase this thought and press a little bit more.
Putting it all in context. Chapter 19 and 20 together. I would say God is saying to them three months ago 90 days for this, you were slaves in Egypt.
You were being beaten you're being tormented you're being humiliated. I open the Red Sea for you. I brought you through it. I brought Manna down from heaven, water from the rock protected you from your enemies. Did any of the gods or goddesses of Egypt help out in that deliverance to you or for their own people in Egypt. Ditto Cirrus the God of the Nile help the Egyptians did check out the frog goddess provide any protection for them or help you.
Did Apus the bowl or jab the earth. God have any kind of help available to you or to them know I am the Lord your God, who delivered you out of the slavery of Egypt not understand what this meant to them. This was so pivotal that the entire Jewish calendar was centered around that redemption for God said after the deliverance in Exodus 12 this month shall be your beginning of months it will be the first month of the year to you so everything started. Once they were redeemed by God's mighty southern order there. Here based upon that. It's always important to remember what God is, save this for we wonder where we go talk about that more tomorrow is pastors give wraps up this teaching. First things first.
This is connect to script weekend division.
Our current series is titled God stop to watch over these 10 Commandments given thousands of years ago relevant to us today as you follow along in the series Skip reminds us that they're not only relevant, their essential now to continue on this train of thought a bit more what's going studio were Skip and linear were starting a new series and that's always exciting and this is a fabulous series because it's God's top 10 and me know if you ever wanted to know what was important to God as is it right if he made these top 10 things that were really really important to him and Dena.
Jesus eventually reduce that to love God and love others. So what inspired you to create this teaching series and what do you hope will take home.
I think I was first inspired when I worked with the FBI and every time I would go into the office under the huge insignia of the FBI and the picture of the president was the top 10 most wanted people that they were looking for the FBI's top 10. I thought wow, you gotta be really bad to get on that list and and so I just got to thinking what would be on God's top 10 list that that will actually there is a top 10 list of the 10 Commandments and and I got to realizing that most people don't know the 10 Commandments it's my dad's favorite topic know what he let's walk in and say what's number seven you lightweight but that's better than healthy, because we as a culture as a church. One professor from Boston University asked the students the 10 Commandments and he said it's not that one person didn't know them. The whole class together after collaborating could not come up with a complete list of the 10 Commandments in a college level course I count sounding tight now. Put your pens and pencils and trying at the top 10 go. It's really challenged it.
I don't do it, but we should memorize them and do them in will and and so yeah here you have that this template for society.
According to God, you have something fulfilled by Jesus Christ since he didn't come to destroy the law but to fulfill it.
You have many of them amplified and reiterated in the new covenant and some of them not so I that's a good place to start in its foundational and and if it's on God's heart and when God speaks to Moses and said, tell them that here's the top 10 list. What are they and how do they relate to us by the way our Judeo-Christian ethics in the Western culture really have balance our courts and so much of our civic laws upon those top 10 threats correct so it's pretty important step will thanks guys here if you love the teaching hero and connect with Skip weekend edition. Remember, you can view and hear more with the Skip Heitzig Roku channel watch anytime from the comfort of your couch have is for you and today is the Skip Heitzig Roku channel all the details and connectwithskip.com will put first things first again next time here and connect with Skip weekend division presentation of connection so you guys never changing true and ever-changing time