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792. Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
August 11, 2020 7:00 pm

792. Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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August 11, 2020 7:00 pm

Dr. Eric Newton continues a chapel series entitled “Oh How I Love They Law.”    Today’s scripture passage is Exodus 20:3.

The post 792. Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927. The evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent preaching from the University chapel platform today on The Daily Platform were continuing a study series entitled. Oh how I love thy law, which is a study of the 10 Commandments. Today's message will be preached by Dr. Eric Newton of the Bob Jones University seminary be to your president, Steve Pettit will introduce him.

We audit this morning to have Dr. Eric Newton speaking today and our theme. Oh how I love dialogue as we look at God's commandments and today he is going to bring to us, God's first commandment.

And so if it's first in order of it must be first in order of importance, and it should definitely be first in our hearts, our minds and our attention so please give God's word. Your attention this morning is Dr. Newton comes up you don't well this morning in spite of the rain. You saying well that's a reflection of your hearts and it's good to be together on May 21, 2005, American novelist David Foster Wallace delivered one of the most notable commencement addresses of the 21st century at Kenyon College in game beer, Ohio. I think it's important that we start by by reading some of his words. He said because here's something else that's weird but true in the day-to-day trenches of adult life.

There's actually no such thing as atheism. There's no such thing as not worshiping everybody worships the only choice we get is what to worship and the compelling reason for may be choosing some sort of God or spiritual type thing to worship in any mention some examples is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive if you worship money and things if they are, where you tap real meaning in life than you'll never have enough. Never feel you have enough, the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure, and you will always feel ugly and when time and age start showing you'll die a million deaths before they finally did review on one level we all know this stuff already been codified as Ms. Roberts clichs, epigrams, parables, the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth upfront and daily consciousness, worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid you'll never and you need evermore power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect being seen as smart, you'll end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out, but the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that their evil or sinful. It's that their unconscious, their default settings and three years later, on September 12, 2008 after a long struggle with addictions. Wallace tragically ended his own life at the age of 46. How do you explain his recognition recognition that we all worship.

Why were his comments about money and beauty and intellect and power so profound and why did his interpretation of life and what it means to worship and in that kind of death think the answer all those questions the same. It's our theme this morning. It's the first commandment first commandment says in Exodus 23 thou shalt have no other gods before me. This is the first of 10 words and it's the first is Dr. Pettit mentioned for a reason. If we don't get the first commandment. Right now the others will be right either. So what's the first commandment. What does God expect us to hear. When he speaks his first word. It's actually quite brief. As you can see, so we want to listen to it this morning by asking two questions that should have no other gods before me. So what does the first commandment say about the Lord God, and what does the first commandment say about us. First of all, what is it say about God. What says very clearly that the Lord God, the Lord is his name. God is his category. The Lord is his name Jehovah Yahweh. He is sovereignly exclusive of the phrase no other gods is pretty clear that's not rocket science, but what does before mean no other gods before me this mean merely that God is the first among many other gods he comes first, and then there are several others are there lots of gods we just emphasize one.

Is this really monotheism.

After all, this phrase in the original has the idea of to the face or before the face. In other words he's saying emphatically.

Don't even think about bringing any other substitute God as an alternative before my presence because you know there are no other gods. The rest of Scripture makes this very clear read with me what Psalm 115 says, but our God is in the heavens.

He is done whatsoever. He is pleased their idols are silver and gold. The work of men's hands. They have malls that they speak not by Saturday, but they see not, they have ears but they hear not, noses, have they but they smell not that hands but they handle not beat the have they but they walk not either speak, they threw their throat and then this conclusion they that make them are like under them. So is everyone that trusted in them is one book title puts it, you become what you worship you become like what you worship. In other words, here's the point of the first commandment about no other gods before me.

God, the Lord is in a class by himself. He's the only one. This is difficult for us to comprehend because we use reference points in order to understand things, and Arctic is the only continent that has no countries or Franklin Delano Roosevelt is the only American president that served four terms parts of four terms or Mary is the only one who is a virgin who conceived and and and bore the Messiah.

Now they are unique, but that we need reference points for all of those unique president a unique version a unique continent, but this is not just talking about unique among many. It's it's not talking but the greatest of all time by some headlines of the past week in relation to the Super Bowl, the goat, the greatest of all time. This is not were talking about God is the only God is in a class by himself.

Isaiah 40 to 48 is a section of Scripture in which the Lord declares how we can know he is the only true God, and we could look if we had more time at many of these passages, but I want to point us to just one. This is Isaiah 45, 5 to 7 and this is particularly significant.

I think because this is the Lord talking to Cyrus king of Persia, two centuries before Cyrus lived in. Here's what he says I'm the Lord, and there is none else.

There is no God besides me.

I girded the though that has not known me that they may know from the rising of the sun from the west that there is none beside me. I'm the Lord, and there is none else I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity by the Lord do all these things the Lord Jehovah is God alone now even the right kind of exclusivism we understand is a very wrong kind of exclusivism, but even the right kind of exclusivism is very unpopular today. If you say you're completely devoted to Christ because he's the only Savior you're labeled a radical if you say that marriage is the joining by covenant of one male and one female to become one flesh until parted by death. You're called a bigot. In fact, entering into an exclusive relationship as a man and a woman into marriage by bows is in itself invoke but since there is only one God, as Paul says in Romans 1136 of whom and through whom and to whom are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. Then we owe him our whole hearted allegiance, and that word wholehearted is very important because of the second point, the Lord is sovereignly exclusive, but in the verse.

Previous to our text, we see that the Lord is also graciously covenantal.

Who is the Lord will notice what he says in Exodus 20 verse two I and the Lord thy God which have dropped the out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

This is not the radical monotheism of Islam. This is not a distant God who simply decrees and punishes and rewards. This is a triune God who enters human history himself to rescue rebels from destruction. This is a God who is relational. I am the Lord. I am bringing you into covenant. This is a God who rescues he's a God of redemption.

He brought them out of Egypt, he brought them out of bondage. We find this the same order in the New Testament particular epistles.

Think of Ephesians in Ephesians 1 through three. You have this this amazing doctrine about who God is and what kind of salvation he's accomplished in Ephesians 436. Give us the obligations inherent in and being his blood bought children in other words, God acted first. This is not a God who sits back and says all right proved to me that I should love you proved to me that you can really be devoted. I want to sit back and wait. No, he says I am the Lord who brought you out of bondage. Now there are no other gods, so don't try to worship other gods. The Lord's steadfast love his own faithfulness are the bedrock and motivation for our devotion to him. He never asks us to do what he has not already initiated so, what is the first commandment say about the Lord God. It says that he is God alone is sovereignly exclusive and that he is graciously covenantal. He is a Savior, the only Savior.

Secondly, what does the first commandment say about us well, it says this, that our thoughts about God are the most important thing about us Romans 121 says because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful but they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Jet experience of something going wrong and you find yourself saying to somebody else you know him. My bad. I just messed up. This is not really who I am really what I intended. I just I just kind of messed up and and we do mess up. We do things we don't intend parents and father just mistakes. But the fundamental issue is not simply that we make mistakes or that we commit particular since the heart of the problems in our hearts. It's that we've displaced our creator in order to worship what he's created. Instead we are idolaters now this point that the most important thing about us is is our thoughts about God comes from.

You may know, a famous Christian writer AW toes are in his book the knowledge of the whole. I want us to look at a portion of what he says. He says what comes into our minds we think about God is the most important thing about us the history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion and man's spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion is ever been greater than its idea of God worship is pure base as the worshiper entertains higher low thoughts of God. For this reason, the greatest question before the church is not speaking necessary to the outside world. Although it applies for them as well is talking to us. The church, the greatest question is always God himself in the most portentous fact about any man is not what it given time.

He may say or do what he and his deep heart conceives God to be like. What are your thoughts about God where my thoughts about God what what surfaces in unguarded moments where does our hearts go when it just follows its natural path. You see, our devotion to God or are our healthy fear of him concern not only where we would rank him that he's God all by himself. He is the only one in that category and I need to recognize them as such and worship him as such. Love them as such.

It also has to do with where I rank his opinion of all things, including me know if you did this, but leading up to Christmas. I did a lot of online shopping. I much prefer online shopping and so I go to Amazon and I would search for something and then all of these choices know a gazillion choices and for me somebody who really likes simplicity that that's overwhelming and so I say okay how many out of five stars. Does this product have and you compare that and then you start reading some of the reviews it and you cannot latch onto a couple reviews that that that seal the deal for hearsay now need to keep looking but when were talking about our heart when were talking about the Lord God.

This isn't just getting a lot of opinion from a lot of places and finding what's best in and we know hopefully will listen to God because we know he's God. This is taking all of those reviews all of that input which can be helpful. Or maybe not so helpful and setting it aside and saying fundamentally I'm going to listen to God, where his opinion what his opinion is ranks first, far above all else. Now there's a key passage related to our text in this Deuteronomy 64.

It's called the Shema and I think in many ways it's the foundational verse of the Old Testament, certainly for Jews it says as you can see here oh Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord he's the only one devote yourself to him, fear him, love him since your life on him. So what is this require well if if our thoughts about God most important thing about us then how do we govern those thoughts do you have that have the experience of wanting to think about God wanting to have the right thoughts of wanting to love him and you feel like your mind is going in a gazillion different directions. Let's how are our hearts are so secondly right.

Thoughts require united parts business has to do with what's going on inside. Here the 10 Commandments are book ended by commandments that focus on the heart. We think of the 10 Commandments. Don't steal. Don't commit adultery. Don't mark. Murder is a very visible, sometimes Republican actions, but on the front and in the back end of the 10 Commandments as a focus that shows us that all of them really come down to what's in the heart.

The sermon on the Mount is not the first time that God said something about the heart in relation to the commandment to notice what Deuteronomy 65 says after after we should hear that the Lord our God is one Lord, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with what all thine heart and all thy soul, and all thy might. We have to have united hearts in order to have right thoughts.

We like to keep our options open right you like options or you want me to tell you what you have to eat for lunch today. Of course not sweetly bristle when there's only one choice and we take that kind of mentality so often into our relationship with the Lord into our worship.

We like to spread our worship around very liberally. It's kind of like a state fair given the state fair or carnival of some sort and and and maybe your parents gave you this little wad of one dollar bills. Or maybe you had actually transfer that into and into a mound of tickets and you're going around your spending a few tickets on this. It's some funnel cakes here in your writing across the top of things here and in the vinyl stuffed animal here. I know it's been a while since you done that would be just think with me what I think our lives are like that. We just, spread her devotion and worship around a little bit here and a little bit there but listen to what Joshua says in Joshua 2415. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. We will worship the Lord hearts by God's grace will be toward the Lord. The first commandment is calling for devoted allegiance singing about how that picture this, I'd run across several people who would mention the illustration of a marriage. I was thinking about a committed marriage. Not perfect marriage. There are none of those. But the kind of marriage that lasts that that that that bears fruit in so many ways by God's providence, the Lord brought my mind to the date today's February 7, 2018 and it just so happens to be my grandparents 70th anniversary today. They been married 70 years. That's a picture of them. February 7, 1948. Now my grandparents are believers there wonderful people that they're not perfect. In fact, my mom just told me a few days ago something I'd never heard before and that's how they first met my grandmother transferred high schools in the early 40s and she walked into the office and she saw my grandfather sitting outside the principal's office with a black eye. He had been in a fight are.

This is not love at first sight arrive, she probably wasn't too impressed by her and and he couldn't see him, and he couldn't see her but they have lived together faithfully for 70 years, for better for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health to love and to cherish, till death do us part according to God's holy ordinance God is calling for allegiance. He knows were not to be perfect. He knows you're gonna have a heart that's tempted to be scattered, but is calling for our allegiance and he has loved us more than any husband or wife ever could. How do we do this work will look what it says in Deuteronomy 66 and these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart. How do you love God with all your heart, you've got to put your words in his heart.

You gotta think about him, you gotta converse with him. You gotta center your everyday existence on him. So finally we see that not only our thoughts about God, the most important thing about us and therefore right thoughts require parts that are united. Finally, everyday life begins and ends with God. What would obeying this command in love by grace look like, well, this is not clich it would be a radically God centered life. Our lives like planets around the sun would orbit around God. Everything is coming off the sun and hears all Christians of the past apply this commandment for ways that the ways could go on and on. Of course, but here are four ways and think as we look at these, how they speak of life, true life, what would it mean to obey this commandment, it would mean that we adore the Lord what captivates us.

But what excites us what drives us. What do we want to talk about what is our treasured possession. Do we adore the Lord God made. Think of what is going to be like for eternity.

Revelation 411 thou art worthy of the Lord, to receive glory and honor and power for this was created all things and for thy pleasure they are and were created. This is what God made us for he made us with an eternal shaped cavity in our souls that can only be filled by worship for the one true God. We adore the Lord. Secondly, do we trust the Lord wears her confidence on whose strength do we depend, we we all know this verse but are we really trusting in the Lord with all our heart or are we leaning on her own understanding. Are we acknowledging him in all her ways, believing that he'll direct our paths. What question do you have in front of you. What struggle did you bring with you and the rain into FMA this morning. What difficult circumstance. Are you not sure you're going to be able to get out of what unforeseen issue in the future. It is going to threaten your balance trust in the Lord. This is what it means by grace to fulfill this commandment. Thirdly, thank the Lord we adore him we trust him. We thank him Wayne who gets the credit.

You do well on that test, who gets the credit for that you meet somebody who gives you in an entre into an internship for the summer. Who gets the credit for that you get up and and and Regent read your Bible when you wanted to stay in bed. Who gets the credit for that you're here sitting here in the midst of a Christian college that others have helped you pay for who gets the credit for that. We have a great God. He's not distant.

He's with us he loves us. Praise God from whom all blessings flow and finally not just adoring and trusting and thinking, but obeying and who gets the deciding vote when push comes to shove crew are we going to follow Jesus said, John 1415 if you love me, keep my commandments. And that means were going to have to say no to other people saying yes to the Lord and devotion means saying no to other people just like saying yes for my grandmother to my grandfather meant saying no to every other guy in a marriage content obedience to God in the fallen world always involves saying no to Satan, the world and our own loss. He's given us a new heart. May we use that new heart and devoted allegiance to him.

This is what life is all about. This is the first commandment for reason God made us so that we would work this way, and he gave us his grace so that we could do it when before outside of Christ, we never could have won a close with several verses from the song that Dr. Hans Bernard preached just a couple weeks ago. This I think captures the essence of the first commandment and how we should respond. Follow along with me among the gods, Psalm 86. There is none like in the deal Lord, neither are there any works like under thy works all nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before the overlord and shall glorify thy name for thou art great into us wondrous things thou art God alone. Teach me thy way over Lord I will walk in my truth unite my heart to fear thy name, I will praise the Lord my God with all my heart and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me, and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. Amen. And may it ever be. To pray with me. God alone on your throne. You are high and lifted up, and by your grace. We want to bow the knee and worship you with our lives. Help us in Jesus name, amen. You been listening to a sermon preached at Bob Jones University by Dr. Eric Newton join us again tomorrow is we continue this series on the 10 Commandments here on The Daily Platform


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