You shall have no other gods besides Me. Deuteronomy 5:7
Other Gods – An axiom of human resource management applies here. People almost always do what they believe to be in their best interest. When you aren’t getting the behavior you desire from others, use this axiom to discover why they think behaving as they do is serving them better than what you want them to do. You just might discover what has to change to alter their thinking.
God certainly knows all about this axiom. When He sees how many of us act in opposition to His will, He must shake His head in dismay, for what this means is that most people do not believe that acting according to God’s rules will really be in their best interest. They think that rules inhibit their freedom. They want what they want when they want it. But, of course, God knows just how foolish all of this is. The interest they serve is really a damning curse. They just don’t see it.
Why isn’t God willing to let us have a just few other masters? Why is He so insistent that we serve and worship only Him? Well, it’s not because He is greedy for our attention or because He is simply a demanding tyrant. God wants us to make Him our exclusive sovereign because it is in our best interest to do so. If you want your best life now, then make Him the only Lord you serve.
Oswald Chambers once said that the enemy of the best is the good. That is exactly what matters here. God wants you to have your best life now. Most of us settle for the good life instead. Why? It’s not because we are perverse or contentious. It’s because we actually think we know what is better for us without God’s input. We think we are perfectly capable of effectively managing our lives. God just shakes His head at our foolishness – the blind leading the blind. What a tragedy! Just let time pass and then ask yourself, “How’s that working out for you?” If we are honest, we will soon admit that things didn’t turn out quite as we had hoped, no matter how successful we are. Life is bent, my friend. It is bent on purpose because it is designed to point out our infirmity, dependence and incapacity. We ignore this curvature of existence at our peril.
But here’s the good news. God knows. God is capable of bringing about your best life now. That is, in fact, His intended purpose. Oh, it might not be the kind of life that you thought was good, but it will be the life that best prepares you to serve and worship Him. We reject other gods (elohiym akherim) because we want the best. We serve the King because we want what He offers more than what others offer. This is a act of supreme self-interest that also happens to be in perfect alignment with God’s will. Isn’t that nice?
Topical Index: Commandments