What Is The First Commandment In The 10 Commandments?
In Deuteronomy 5:7, Moses told the Israelites that the first commandment given by God was “You shall have no other gods before me.”
It is the first commandment because it sets the foundation for all of the other commandments that follow. This commandment teaches us that we should worship and serve only one God, and not put any other gods or objects above Him.
The First Commandment In Context
In context, God was speaking to the Israelites who had just been freed from slavery in Egypt. During their time in Egypt, they had been exposed to and influenced by the polytheistic beliefs and practices of the Egyptians. Therefore, it was important for God to establish Himself as the one true God and for His people to understand that He alone should be worshipped.
This commandment also emphasizes the importance of having a personal relationship with God. By putting Him first and above all else, we are acknowledging His power and authority in our lives and choosing to have a deep connection with Him.
Applying First Commandment Today
We may not be tempted to worship physical idols today like the Israelites were. Nonetheless, this commandment is still relevant and applicable to our lives.
Putting God First In Our Lives
We are often bombarded with distractions and things that can easily take the place of God in our hearts.
For some, it may be material possessions or success. For others, it may be relationships or social status. Whatever it may be, the first commandment serves as a reminder for us to keep God as our top priority and not let anything or anyone else take His place.
In Psalm 81:9, God says, “You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not worship any god other than me.” This verse shows that even in today’s modern society, where we are exposed to a multitude of beliefs and ideologies, it is still important for us to remain faithful to the first commandment.
Choosing To Serve God
The first commandment also teaches us the importance of actively choosing to serve and worship God. It is not enough to simply acknowledge that He exists, we must actively choose to put Him first in our lives and follow His commandments.
In Joshua 24:15, Joshua declares to the Israelites, “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Just like Joshua, we must make a conscious decision every day to serve and follow God.
How Do We Obey The First Commandment?
So what does it look like practically to obey the first commandment? How do we put God first above all else?
Here are some simple ways:
Read And Obey The Bible
The Bible is God’s word to us and it contains His commandments and teachings for our lives. By reading and obeying the Bible, we are putting God first in our thoughts and actions.
In Psalm 119:105, it says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” This verse shows us that the Bible is not just a book of rules and regulations, but it is a guide for our daily lives.
James 1:22 also reminds us, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” It is not enough to just read the Bible, we must also obey and apply its teachings in our lives.
Pray And Seek God’s Will
In order to put God first in our lives, we must also communicate with Him through prayer. We should seek His guidance and will for our lives, rather than relying on our own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” As we trust in God and seek His will, He will guide us in the right direction.
Prioritize Church and Fellowship
Another way to put God first is by prioritizing church and fellowship with other believers. Hebrews 10:25 urges us, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”
Attending church and being in fellowship with other believers helps us grow spiritually, encourages us to live according to God’s word, and supports us in our walk with God.
Jesus showed us the ultimate example of putting God first by serving others. In Mark 10:45, Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” We are called to follow in His footsteps and serve others as well.
Serving others not only shows love and compassion, but it also allows us to glorify God through our actions. As we put the needs of others before our own, we are putting God first in our lives.
Be a Good Steward
Lastly, putting God first also means being a good steward of all that He has blessed us with. This includes our time, talents, and resources. As 1 Peter 4:10 states, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
We are called to use our gifts and resources for the glory of God and to further His kingdom. This requires us to be mindful of how we use our time and talents, using them to serve others and spread God’s love.
Bible Verses Related To The First Commandment
There are numerous Bible verses that help further explain what the first commandment means. Some of those verses include:
- Exodus 20:3 – “You shall have no other gods before me.”
- Deuteronomy 6:5 – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
- Mark 12:30 – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
- Joshua 24:15 – “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
- Colossians 3:23-24 – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters…It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
- Matthew 6:24 – “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Prayer For Obedience To The First Commandment
Thank you for being the one and only true God. I pray that you would help me to always put you first in my life, above all else.
Please reveal to me any idols or distractions that may be taking your place in my heart.
Help me to use my time, talents, and resources for your glory and to serve others as a reflection of your love.
Give me the strength and discipline to resist any temptation to put anything or anyone above you.
I pray that my heart would always be fully devoted to you, and that I would love you with all my heart, soul, and mind.
Thank you for your grace and forgiveness when I fall short, and thank you for teaching me the importance of obedience to your first commandment.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
This prayer serves as a reminder and commitment to always put God above all else in our lives. It is a reflection of the first commandment and emphasizes the importance of having a devoted heart towards God. As we strive for obedience to this commandment, let us also remember His grace and forgiveness when we fall short.
May our lives be a reflection of His love and may we always serve Him wholeheartedly. So, let us continue to serve the Lord with all our heart and give Him the glory in everything that we do.