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Exodus 20:3-11, Commandments to Honor God

Sunday, June 3

Between Us and God

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

love God

God enters every covenant first with what God has done for the people. With Moses and the Israelites, God’s next order of business is to establish a relationship with God’s people. It had been 400 years since God established a relationship with Jacob (Israel). The people had several generations living in Egypt to incorporate the gods and idols of Egypt into their lives. God made it clear—those idols would not be tolerated. God demanded that they remain loyal only to God.

In many ways, God’s relationship with the Israelites was like a marriage. In a loving relationship, fidelity is necessary for the health and longevity of the relationship. Infidelity can kill a marriage. Infidelity can destroy a relationship with God. God has showed time and time again that God is fiercely loyal. God expects the same from God’s people.

God also demands respect. This second commandment is not about swearing in general. While unpleasant, a well-timed curse word will not utterly destroy relationships. But to curse God—now, that will damage, if not destroy, a relationship. Cursing God is an outward expression of a lack of faith, trust, respect, and love. Without these, the relationship between God and people will suffer terribly.

The third commandment is a reminder to be intentional about time spent with God. Yes, it is a commandment to rest from our work. But making time for God is even more important. We can become so busy with our lives that we forget to make time for God, for ourselves, for the people we love, and for our health. When we fail to nurture our physical, spiritual, and emotional selves, we fail to honor the preciousness of God’s most beloved creation.

These first commandments are for our benefit. When we nurture our relationship with God, we can maintain a spiritual wellness that can withstand any trauma, tragedy, illness, or loss. It is a practice we cannot ignore. This is a relationship we cannot live without.

Narrative Lectionary Text: Exodus 20:3-11

You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name. Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it.