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No Other Gods

Someone wrote recently that the first Commandment, "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me", must include "Thou shalt have Me". A few minutes' reflection will confirm the truth of this conclusion. Further reflection will establish that the first Commandment also means, "Thou shalt have no other gods in addition to Me".

The first words of the Decalogue came to Israel with thunders and lightnings at Mount Sinai. They form the rock-basis of divine revelation; There is one God-we either worship and love Him or else.... The writer quoted above makes this challenging comment, "The man who says, 'One God', and does not care, is an atheist in his heart. The man who speaks of God and will not recognize the presence of God burning in his mind as Moses recognized Him in the burning bush-that man is an atheist, though he speak with the tongues of men or angels, and appear in his pew every Sunday, and make large contributions to the church". Strong words! Disturbing and alarming, but none the less worthy of serious thought.

The false gods men worship today are legion. The motor-car, the home, fashion, sport, art, politics, sex, and self, all have their devotees who worship as unashamedly as the heathen who bows down to wood and stone. In this neo-pagan society the Christian has to live. The closing words of John's first epistle, "My little children, guard yourselves from idols", have a special voice to twentieth-century Christians. Nothing but the knowledge and fear of God will preserve us from the corroding influences around. On page 94 of this issue our esteemed contributor R. Darke draws attention to the need for a re-discovery of God. His words are timely. What does God mean to me? The psalmist spoke of "God, my exceeding joy". Paul confessed, "I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord".

"Nothing honours our Lord like the thirst of desire,

Nor possesses the heart so completely with Him,

For it burns the world out with the swift ease of fire,

And fills life with good works till it runs o'er the brim.

For the heart only dwells, truly dwells with its treasure,

And the languor of love captive hearts can unfetter;

And they who love God cannot love Him by measure,

For their love is but hunger to love Him still better."

"Show me, I pray Thee, Thy glory", pleaded Moses. Happy are we when similar desires upsurge in our hearts. The vision of God is the summit of Christian experience.