2 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; 3 Do not have any other gods before me.
As I read this, the first thing that leaps off the page is the first four words - "I am the Lord...". That right there establishes who the boss is. "I am the Lord". The One who created the universe. The One who knows the number of stars in the sky and grains of sand on the earth. The One who knows every thing that has ever happened and will ever happen. "I am the Lord".
And then this One who we can never understand becomes tender... "...your God...". He's talking about ME! The One who breathes worlds into existence is talking about me. He notices me... Maybe it's time I should listen.
"...brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery..." Egypt? I've never been to Egypt! And I sure haven't been a slave, so maybe this doesn't apply to me after all.
Wrong! In a miraculous way, the Lord who knows yesterday, today and tomorrow was speaking to a tattered bunch of Jews and at the same time He was speaking to you and me who wouldn't be born for so many years.
We are ALL in slavery. And the master's name is satan. And we marched around in a desert of our own making until we crossed our impassable sea of sin, brought out by the Lord Jesus.
OK, now what? "...do not have any other gods..." That means NONE. Zero. Not even a shadow!
How can we have other gods? Where does our faith lie? Where is most of our attention focused?
Take this challenge: For 2 weeks keep a journal. You will record all of your activities from waking to sleep - listing everything...time watching TV, eating, driving, and computer and so on.
At the end of 2 weeks, look at your activities. How much of your time was dedicated to God? Did you even make 10%? BTW, 10% of 2 weeks is 33 hours and 36 minutes or 2 hours and 24 minutes a day. Does that seem like a lot of time? Now look at the amount of time you spent on entertaining yourself... TV, computer, recreational activities, sports, tanning... whatever it is in your journal that you've done these last 2 weeks. How many hours did you spend on your own pleasure? "...Do not have any other gods..."
"...before me." Now is not the time to get cute and say, "OK, I can have all this other stuff after I do for God." The word 'before' can have several definitions. Yes, there is the 'before' that speaks of sequence - before/in front of/proceeding. But there is also the 'before' that means "in the presence of". In the quiet of your soul, which one do you really think He means?
"In the presence of" an omnipresent God. That is everywhere. His presence is wrapped around you more than the air.
He does not want "other gods" ANYWHERE in your life.
It's all about Him.