May 2, 2024

Exodus 20:22-26 (HCSB)
Moses Receives Additional Laws

 22 Then the Lord told Moses, “This is what you are to say to the Israelites: You have seen that I have spoken to you from heaven. 23 You must not make gods of silver to rival Me; you must not make gods of gold for yourselves. 24 “You must make an earthen altar for Me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats, as well as your cattle. I will come to you and bless you in every place where I cause My name to be remembered.  25 If you make a stone altar for Me, you must not build it out of cut stones. If you use your chisel on it, you will defile it. 26 You must not go up to My altar on steps, so that your nakedness is not exposed on it.

Kim Stahlin
God is so much more than a law-giver. He is sovereign and His commandments reveal who He is to us and that He wants a relationship with us. His commandments also instruct us on how we are to worship Him and how Holy God is. It lets us know God’s desire to not only have a relationship with us, but what that relationship should look like. There is a reason that His first commandment is that God comes first, always, in every aspect of our life. Now that Israel has received the Law, Israel should see how absurd and pointless it is they even acknowledge the existence of false gods, let alone worship them. God points out in verse 22 that He (the true God of heaven and earth) has spoken to us from Heaven. How could we even consider the existence of any other god, let alone worship them? Furthermore, since God is the one and only God, a just and Holy God, the way in which we worship Him could never overshadow who God is. Nothing ornate. Nothing defiled. Nothing that would reveal anything about ourselves that would distract from the awesome, perfect, majestic God that He is. Everything in our worship should be for Him, about Him and to Him and our hearts should be humble and reverent in every aspect. That is why in verse 23 He reiterates His first commandment and why He is so specific as to what His altars are to look like.

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