The Mustard Seed
by Pastor Ron Friedrich
The First Commandment says, "You shall have no other gods before Me."
Are there really other gods?
There are many things which people call "god" or they worship as their god. But what they worship is only a creature, not the Creator, so they cannot legitimately be called "god." Many people who pray to those lesser "gods" correctly recognize that there are influential spirits, whom the Bible calls demons, powers, princes, and rulers. (See Daniel 10:4-14; Romans 8:38-39; Ephesians 6:12) People make idols to represent those demonic spirits, and they mistakenly ascribe to them various forces of nature. Demons' chief power is the power to deceive people. These spirits want to keep people from turning to their Creator in repentance and faith.
What made Israel unique among ancient peoples was that they worshiped the Creator rather than the creation. Remember when the prophet Jonah foolishly tried to run away from God. His ship was caught in a terrible storm that seemed to never end. The sailors suspected that someone onboard was responsible for the storm. They threw lots and the lot fell to Jonah. The sailors asked, "Who are you? What do you do? Where are you from?"
Jonah answered, "I am a Hebrew and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land." This really scared the sailors. They worshiped the "gods" of nature, but Jonah knew the Creator, the true God over all nature. Then when Jonah said that he had disobeyed the Lord, they screamed, "You did what!?" Jonah told them to throw him overboard, but they were too afraid to harm him. In the end, these Gentiles also worshiped the one true Creator God. (Jonah 1:7-10. Also see Acts 14:15; Acts 17:24-29.)
Many times and in many ways God has said:
"I made the earth and the people who live on it. I spread out the heavens and made all the stars. All of you in every place on earth, turn to Me and be saved. I am God. There is no other." (Isaiah 45:12,22)
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