“It is the Lord your God you shall fear.  Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear.  You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you.” – Deuteronomy 6:13-14

[using the New City Catechism app…]

Question 9: What does God require in the first, second, and third commandments?

Answer:  First, that we know God as the only true God.  Second, that we avoid all idolatry.  Third, that we treat God’s name with fear and reverence.

The first and second commandments tell us that God wants to be worshipped rightly and solely.  There is no other god, and nothing or no one else that is worthy of receiving worship.  God alone deserves worship from His creation, which is why He can say He’s a “jealous God.”  Any worship directed towards something other than Him is stealing from the most beautiful, amazing, all-righteous, all-satisfying, holy Being in existence.

While people don’t carve sculptures of gods or goddesses as much today, we can still find false gods in money, things, abilities, people, pleasure, and anything else our hearts can love more than God.

The third commandment warns us to always honor and revere God and His word and to avoid profaning Him in our lips and in our life.  When God warns that He “will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain,” we must remember that the only way for us to be guiltless of any sin is to be clothed with the guiltless life of our Savior Jesus.

Additional Scriptures to study and discuss:  Acts 14:15; Jeremiah 10:14-16; James 5:12