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Exodus 20.1-3

The Exodus was the event when God rescued the Israelites out of Egypt. They had lived in Egypt for 430 years and had adopted many Egyptian beliefs and practices, including those involving Egyptian gods. The Egyptians had a god or goddess for everything. So worship of these deities was commonplace for the Israelites. But God wanted to change that. Instead of being open to lots of gods, they were to have only one God. Essentially, God was asking them to let go of 430 years of their cultural heritage. No doubt these Egyptian deities had woven themselves into their family traditions.

The Egyptian gods were not gods at all. There is only one God and he demands exclusivity in our relationship with him. We too live in a culture that is “god-saturated.” We worship wealth, fame, success, or the idea of having the perfect family. Like the Egyptians, we have multiple gods to meet multiple needs. But no false gods we worship can actually satisfy us. Only a love relationship with God can do that. And so the first command rings true for us, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20.3).

Today, take a moment to identify 21st century competitors for your worship. Make a list of 5 to 10 things people throw themselves into to try and achieve wholeness or satisfaction. Generally, these are not “evil” things, but become competition to our relationship with God when we give them more of our heart than they deserve. As you make your list, begin searching your own heart. Perhaps God is prompting you even now to readjust some area that have been competing for your heart.