Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”
Martin Luther said: “The Decalogue is not of Moses, nor did God give it to him first. On the contrary, the Decalogue belongs to the whole world; it was written and engraved in the minds of all human beings from the beginning of the world.”
It seems almost daily I read in the news about the Ten Commandments being removed from some public place here in the States. The most recent one was in Oklahoma when the Ten Commandments were removed from the state capital in the darkness of night. Recognizing the 10 Commandments as the foundation of our laws is the reason why many state capitals have the plaque of the 10 Commandments.
Johannes Althusius said: “The precepts of the Decalogue prescribe and constitute a way, rule, guiding star, and boundary for human society. If anyone would take them out of politics, he would destroy it; indeed, he would destroy all social life among men. For what would human life be without the piety of the first table of the Decalogue, and without the justice of the second? What would a Commonwealth be without communion and communication things useful and necessary to human life? By means of these precepts, charity becomes effective in various good works.”
Psalm 119:126 “It is time for you to act, O Lord, for they have broken your law.”
We see the mass shootings taking place and many other atrocities occurring and we wonder why this is happening. I think Johannes Althusius was right regarding the Ten Commandments when he said: “Take them out of politics, he would destroy it; indeed, he would destroy all social life among men.” Isn’t this the reason for the breakdown in our social life here in the USA and in other parts of the world as well? America is becoming a lawless nation and it is not just among the ordinary citizens, but also those we elect to uphold the law.
Noah Webster’s says: “The first Commandment forbids us to have any other God, before Jehovah. It forbids the worship of any and every other being. The first and highest duty of man is to reverence, worship and obey the only true God. Men are prone to consider that their social duties to their fellow man is the first in importance, and all that is necessary to be observed in order to secure God’s favor. This is a pernicious mistake, and probably the ruin of millions of the human race. Supreme love to God, and reverence for his character, and laws, is the first duty of man, and the true source of all other duties. Obedience to God’s laws, to be genuine, was to spring from love to him; and a conformity to his character is that which constitutes excellence in human character.”
The first four commandments are often called the First Table and deal with man’s relationship with God. Since there is only one God, there is only one source of law. This first Commandment has to do with the source of authority and law, both in our personal life and in our nation.
There is one God and, hence, one law, for He is the source of that one law. Polytheism (which includes humanism) implies we live in a universe with many law orders flowing from many gods. Man cannot live under man’s law in this system except by force or imperialism, and this is what we have in many parts of the world.
With the humanistic or evolutionary view of law that modern man has, every man is a law unto himself because there is no over-arching absolute law. What this eventually brings is anarchy and to enforce law upon everyone requires imperialism by those in authority. What this means is that civil government will grow larger and stronger and more intrusive in the affairs of the citizens. This is what is happening today in the United States as well as in Europe, other parts of our world. This type of government will usurp the authority and responsibilities of the individual, family, church, business, etc. The fruit of this: the loss of liberty and even life.
Since there is one God, then there is one law, and there is one truth. This first commandment tells us that we should not have any other god (or law or truth) before Him, or beside Him. Therefore, to change from a biblical law system to another law system is to change gods.
God and His Law are the source of righteousness for all members of society and also describes the outcome of those who are outside the law. God is also the source to uphold the law that He had delegated to man, through the institutions of family, church, and state which is to have the power to punish those who break the law. (Romans 13, 1 Peter 2.)
If we are to regain sanity in our world today then we must come back to this First Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me.”