Then God gave the people all these instructions: “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. You must not have any other god but me.”
Exodus 20:1-3 NLT
The Ten Commandments are a critical foundation for our Christian formation. As we celebrate Jesus’ victory through the cross and resurrection, we recognise that Jesus affirmed these commandments. They are relevant to our Christian journey today.
They can sound like a list of rules set to constrict our life choices. They are in fact anything but that. They are God’s personal invitation to live in a way that brings great freedom. At the outset they are a declaration of the depth of God’s love for us. Having rescued Israel from slavery in Egypt, God defines the character of friendship with God, and fullness of life for humanity.
As in any committed marriage, the relationship is exclusive to the one chosen by our love. No one embraces God without first sensing the depth of love God has for them. As with all love, maintaining such exclusivity is challenged through the many alternative distractions life directs towards our senses. Of course, to be tempted is not to sin. Yet, failure to challenge such temptation is a challenge to the exclusivity of my love. There is always a honeymoon period. Then I discover fractures in the other person I wasn’t expecting and may not be prepared for. I also reflect how my exclusive commitment may in fact be restricting my enjoyment of life. Such sentiments are an expression of my own selfish desire to exercise authority over my own life. Yet, as God demonstrated in delivering Israel from slavery, it is God alone that can separate me from servitude.
Of course, many waver on their exclusive love for God, only to discover that the happiness sought is only a mirage and discover slavery to their own imperfect desires that damage both themselves and others.
Why is exclusive love for Jesus a good thing?
Lord Jesus, help me to love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength.