The giving of the Ten Commandments leads us back into the dim, distant days of Old Testament history. They were given just about as long before the birth of Christ as it is since that central event of all history.
On This Page 10. The Supreme Duty Of Man Loving God Supremely Using God’s Name Reverently The Becoming Worship of God Publication Information 10. The Supreme Duty Of Man “And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, which is the first commandment of all?
The day of rest and worship, as it has been observed from the creation to the present time, we have already considered. This subject, considered from the viewpoint chiefly of the day itself, is one of no slight importance. The very fact that for all these thousands of years there has been a day so observed gives great weight to every plea for its proper continuance and observance. But after all it is not the day in itself which is the matter of chief importance.
In all the commandments it is God who is speaking to us. But in these three He tells us how we are to treat Him personally. We are to have no other gods. He, our Creator, the author of all our blessings, claims our adoration. He demands the highest thoughts of our minds, the deepest love of our hearts, our truest service. We are not to profane His holy name.
We take up for study today the Second Commandment. A glance should suffice to show its close relation to the first. God has been standing before us in the awe-inspiring grandeur of His person. “I am the Lord thy God.” He demands that we banish all false ideas of Himself and all worship of false, imaginary gods, which would steal away the honor due Himself, the true, the living God.
“In the primitive church there was a private and public catechization. The private was practiced by parents according to Eph. 6:4… The public was held in schools, churches, and other places, and the pupils were called catechumens, from κατγχουμενοι, learners, the word that is used in the New Testament passages before quoted.
“In the course of ages, as the church became more corrupt, the practice fell into disuse, or sadly degenerated.
“Thou shalt worship the Lord, thy God; and Him only shalt thou serve.” — Matt. 4:10.
In our recent address we spoke of idols and idol-worship, but confined ourselves closely to the grosser forms of this great sin. Though we pointed out that idolatry of this kind still largely prevails and that the simple fact of its existence entails on all the children of God the solemn duty of making the true God known, a duty we cannot shirk without guilt, still it is possible that a good many have felt that the sin of which we spoke was a thing far removed from our life, something altogether of another world, if not of the long ago.
“I am the Lord thy God… Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.” — Exodus 20:2-5.
Universally men have felt the need of a God. Man is a created being, he is dependent, he cannot live by himself.
“I am the Lord thy God… Thou shalt, Thou shalt not.” — Exodus 20:2-4.
Wherever we go in God’s universe, into whatever sphere we direct investigation, we cannot proceed far without becoming conscious of the operation of unseen, intangible forces. In other words, everywhere we find Law. There is not an atom of dust floating through space; there is not a flower which blooms, not a leaf which fades and falls; there is not a stream which, ever broadening, flows from its tiny fountain, onward to the sea; there is not a star in the vast canopy of heaven, traveling its path through the millions of sister spheres; there is not a thing anywhere but is governed by Law.
“I am the Lord thy God.” — Exodus 20:2.
Our Catechism is appropriately called the Layman’s Bible, which means that the fundamental truths of God’s Word are there made easily accessible for our people. One of the introductory questions of the catechism is: “What is in general the right use and benefit of all these chief parts?” The answer is: “That we may learn to know who we are, and how we stand in the sight of the Lord our God; who God is, and how we may become reconciled and united with Him.
“What is truth?“— St. John 18:38.
Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth.” — St. John 17:17.
The first question of the second, or explanatory, part of our Catechism is: “What is your faith?” To this question the answer is given: “I am a Christian.” Yes, we call ourselves Christians. And blessed are we if our claim is true. All the gold and gems in the universe would not pay for the treasures that we now have, and the others to which we have become heirs, if we are truly Christians — God’s dear children.