Credibility is huge. The value of words are judged by the credibility of the speaker. Before God introduced Himself in the form of the Ten Commandments, He explained to the Israelites why they needed to listen. God told Moses to tell the people that He had carried them on eagle’s wings and He had chosen them out of all nations to be His treasured possession (Exodus 19:4-5). He reminded them of what He did for them, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery” (Exodus 20:2). If thunder and lightning, a thick cloud, and a loud trumpet didn’t get their attention, surely these words did. The phrase “I Am” means the self-existent one and remind us of the statement made preciously to Moses at the burning bush. The one with no beginning and no end delivered Israel from slavery. Israel witnessed God defeat the god’s of Egypt. The ten plagues defeated ten Egyptian gods. The last being the plague of the firstborn which was judgment on Pharaoh who was considered by the Egyptians to be a God.
In Exodus 20:3, we read this profound statement by God, “Thou shall have no other gods before me.” Why did God make this statement? Is it because He has ego issues or feelings of insecurity? Is He afraid of competition? Why does He say, “Thou shall have no other gods before me?” In Exodus 20:5, God said, “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.” Dozens of times in the Bible God is spoken of as being jealous. Why is He jealous?
The reason that God said, “You shall have no other gods before me” is because He is loving and He always, always desires the best for us. His jealousy for our worship and devotion is to protect us from worshipping that which will harm us. What is best for us is to be in an exclusive, devoted and loving relationship with Him. That is for our good. His attributes and character make Him the only source of true and lasting security and fulfillment. He is all knowing, all powerful, and present everywhere. God has exclusivity. No other being is like Him. There is no other source of life. There is no greater love. He is what is best for us. God also desires all of the attention that we should give Him because He has the right to it. He is God. That’s why (as we find in Revelation 4:11) when we sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb, we will say, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power.” He is worthy.
Man’s fallen condition results in our rebellion against God. Do you remember Lucifer? The Bible says in Isaiah 14 and also in Ezekiel 28 that there is a being called Lucifer, and one day as one of God’s created creatures Lucifer said to himself, “I will be like the most high.” He said in essence, “I want to be God.” Satan was an angel and as such is a created being but he wants to use the strength and ability that God gave him to take God’s glory.
Lucifer showed up in the Garden of Eden to say to Adam and Eve, “You shall be as God, knowing good from evil.” Since that time man has had a desire to be equal with God and to take over. That’s what the Bible says. “There is none that seeks after God. There is none that is righteous. No, not one” (Isaiah 53:6).
The sin nature of man causes us to be prone to self-worship and worshipping other things (gods). We do not naturally want the Lord God Jehovah to rule over us, so we establish within our minds gods that seem to be more controllable, more predictable and more in keeping with what our desires to do. Think of how insulting it must be to God when people ignore Him and seek to ascribe His glory to another.
It begins in Psalm 115:3 by talking about the true God. “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that He pleases.” Notice what is said about worshipping idols. Speaking of the heathen it says, “Their idols are silver and gold, the work of human hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see.”
Worship of anything but the one true God, the Lord Jesus Christ, is worthless, vain and a waste of time. Worship that is placed anywhere besides the one true God will only lead to a frustrated life and separation from the One who desires to be in a holy covenant with us. He wants to carry us on eagle’s wings and make us His treasured possession.