“You shall have no other gods beside Me”
Who is this God who demands singular devotion and commitment? Who is this one who denies me the freedom of religion? To worship the god I choose?
This is the living God, who created all things. He alone is almighty and in His invisibleness is eternal. All the other gods are the product of human imagination such as worshipping the sun, or worse, they are the ingenious devices of the devil, in an attempt to deny God the almighty, the worship due to His Name. This could be from the feasting to idols to the praying to saints.
God has revealed Himself, not through many religions, but over quite a long period of history. He has spoken through prophets, been known in real life experiences and then finally in Jesus Christ. Moses, who in a very special way knew God and mediated a special communication of God, he foretold of a special prophet who likewise would speak with heavenly authority – not the budda, not Mohammed, not Krishna, not Bahaullah – it was Jesus Christ and Him alone.
Through Moses was seen the holiness of God Jehovah, but through Jesus Christ was evidenced the grace and truth of God. More than being seen, grace and truth by love divine was implemented as the means to a functional relationship with the same God who made the world, the same God whom Moses made know as holy. In a beautiful way Moses deferred honour to the Lord Jesus, and the Lord Jesus deferred honour to Moses [eg John 5] .
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son”
Was the coming of Jesus into the world, the beginning of God’s love? NO. God loved the people of the world from the beginning. The emphasis is that the world of people had now proved themselves unworthy of Himself, unworthy of His love. Now God’s glory was being expressed in a different hue. Not so much holiness being revealed in a holy law, but, on the foundation of that, God’s undeserved love shines forth in hitherto unrivalled brilliance.
Just as the law was more than philosophical words (it was a law defined by action), so the love of God was and is more than words. “God so loved the world that He gave” – God throughout history has given much, but this is the greatest gift. This is God giving Himself. That is why the word ‘begotten’ (left out in many translations) is so significant. Out from God Himself came the Son of God (not as a child with a beginning), as the perfect representative of the Father. Much could be said of the blessing of His years on earth, but God’s love is finally expressed in this action –“God spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all” (the cross) Romans 8.
Many treated Moses law with indifference, and today many treat God’s love in Christ with indifference. But God is not mocked. He will have the last say. God will be the final judge.
“Of how much sorer punishment will he be thought worthy who has spurned the Son of God................................vengeance is mine , I will repay says the Lord” (Hebrews 10)
What should be our response to God revealed?
In the words of another when he saw Jesus alive from the dead:
“blessed are those that have not seen, yet have believed.” (John 20)
We indeed should know God and love Him forever!