The first commandment is “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). That commandment establishes the expectation that God’s people will be solely devoted to him, but it also acknowledges the existence of potential competitors. In the Old Testament, the Canaanite deity, Baal, was the primary god competing for the Israelites allegiance. In the New Testament, Greek deities like Artemis as well as the Roman government competed for the hearts of God’s people. But do such competitors exist in the 21st century?
1 And God spoke all these words, saying, 2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or 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. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me,”