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Series: The Ten Commandments
The First Commandment: No Other Gods

Exodus 20:1-3, NRSV
Matthew 22:34-40, NRSV


Anything can serve as a counterfeit god, especially the very best things in life… A counterfeit god is anything so central and essential to your life that, should you lose it, your life would feel hardly worth living. [It] has such a controlling position in your heart that you can spend most of your passion and energy, your emotional and financial resources, on it without a second thought… [It] is whatever you look at and say, in your heart of hearts, “If I have that, then I’ll feel my life has meaning, then I’ll know I have value, then I’ll feel significant and secure.” There are many ways to describe that kind of relationship to something, but perhaps the best one is worship.

— Tim Keller
Counterfeit Gods

  • We have so many gods to please, to serve, in our lives
  • The more we try to please, to serve, we get so little back in return
  • How the Israelites tried to please and serve the Pharaoh in Egypt during the time of famine, and ended up being slaves in Egypt
  • The First Commandment is to establish God’s identity, identity of God’s people
  • Sometimes we think the misery we know is better than the mystery we don’t know
  • Sometimes we stop short of exploring and knowing more about God, once we hear something we like or not like about God
  • God exposes other counterfeit gods, that they are needy, that it is a dead god until you start serving it
  • “If I give you this, I’ll get what I need from you”

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