Devotional on the First and Second Commandments


Devotions, Gods' Law

Week 6 – Day 2 – Gods’ Law

Scripture: Exodus 20:3-6 (NKJV)

  1. “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
  2. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”


At last, by now we have a beautiful picture of a loving and benevolent Father God. We know that we were created in His image of love, to love and be loved by Him as the father and creator of love. In Eden the serpent had other ideas. He did not want God to have all the glory. So that serpent of old….the devil, set about making sure that God was undermined at the very beginning. The big question in your mind now is the same one I had in mine when I began to study creation. Why didn’t God who created it all, cast out the devil and why was there a tree with forbidden fruit if everything God created was perfect?

If all this starts and ends with love as the essence of all creation, then how do you set love apart? Love is a free will choice. Can you be mandated to love someone? Many have tried through history and a great many kings in the bible tried that and it didn’t end well for them.

No, in order to experience love you must be given free will to exercise that love. As much as it has caused great pain since creation the tree of the knowledge of good and evil had to be there.

So the first two commandments are the foundation for the remaining eight. We must attribute our existence to the only God….the God who created us. To worship other gods is committing adultery in our marriage to He who brought us into being. He requires our undivided attention not because we are afraid of Him but because we love Him.

If we want the character of God and that was always His plan for us, then we have to love Him in ways that emulate that character.

When we break the first commandment we break the foundational design law principle and relegate the one true God into a line of a whole bunch of other gods in our lives and He plays second fiddle.

As for the second commandment?

Anything that distracts our attention from God is breaking yet another design law principle. I have often said that I idolise my wife Michelle. I have changed that from idolise to adore. I don’t make of her an idol because that may put her higher up the list than God and I don’t want that and she most definitely doesn’t want me to do that either. I love her more powerfully by loving God first; because in loving His principles and in striving to be like Him, I can love her more purely.

Money and fame and even possessions can become more important than God when they are way down the list. The best things in life aren’t things they are relationships; and a right relationship with God makes all others more profound and mutually satisfying.

In the very heart of the commandments lies a profound truth that shapes our relationship with God. The first and second commandments illuminate the priority and purity of worship that God desires from His people.

The First Commandment:

“You shall have no other gods before Me.” This commandment speaks directly to the exclusivity of our devotion to God. He demands the highest place in our hearts and lives. Every aspect of our being should be aligned with His will, recognising Him as the one true God.

The Second Commandment:

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image…” This commandment expands upon the first, cautioning against the creation of idols or images that might lead us away from the true worship of God. It emphasises not only the exclusive devotion but also the purity of our worship.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What are the modern-day idols or distractions that can take precedence over our devotion to God?
  2. How can we ensure that our worship remains pure and focused solely on God, avoiding the temptation of idolatry in various forms?
  3. In what practical ways can we demonstrate our love for God and keep His commandments in our daily lives?


Heavenly Father, Papa God, we come before You, acknowledging Your supremacy in our lives. Forgive us for the times we have allowed other things to take precedence over our devotion to You. Help us to identify and remove any idols that hinder our relationship with You. May our worship be pure and pleasing to You alone. Grant us the strength and wisdom to love You wholeheartedly and to walk in obedience to Your commandments so that every thought of you brings a smile to our face. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Graham Hood

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