Good Day to each of you reading as we begin a New Year. I do hope each of you had a wonderful holiday and have been renewed in the Lord.
For many of you folks reading this, we are experiencing winter with the hope that spring will arrive soon. Let’s not rush things for we need the cold temperatures to allow our soil to rest.
Before we begin our topic, do you ever think that we are stewards of the land? God says in Genesis that we have dominion over all animals and that we are to allow the land to rest on the seventh year. So, you ask, how can we eat if we allow the land to rest? If you have faith in God and honor his laws, statutes and judgments and do what he says, then he will provide for you and your family.
Turn with me to Leviticus 25: 19-22 (KJV) And the land shall yield her fruit, and ye shall eat your fill, and dwell therein in safety. And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? Behold, we shall not sow nor gather in our increase: Then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years. And ye shall sow in the eighth year and eat yet of old fruit until the ninth year; until her fruits come in ye shall eat of the old store.
Please bookmark the above verses and turn with me to Leviticus 26: 1-5 (KJV) Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the Lord your God. Ye shall keep my sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord. If ye walk in statutes and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit: And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time; and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
Here is my question to each of you reading this column, do you believe what God says and are you a steward of the land? It is essential for each of us to adhere God’s laws and to let the land rest. How else will the valuable needed nutrients replenish themselves? Here is a certain test of faith in God that he will deliver in the seventh year—He will, He does and has shown in many examples in the past.
When the Israelites left Egypt and needed water or food, God always delivered, but don’t take my word, read Exodus to get the rest of the story.
What does our relationship with God have to do with the first commandment? Simple, we must recognize, follow and adhere to all of God’s laws beginning with the first commandment. Exodus 20:3 (KJV) Thou shalt have no other gods before me. This first commandment is repeated in Deuteronomy 5:7 and then in Deuteronomy 6:14-15 (KJV) God’s give more insight into this first commandment—Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you;) lest the anger of thy Lord be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.
Dear Christian, God has provided each of us with a storehouse of blessings and with those blessings he has provided us with commandments or “Thou shalt nots”. The “Thou shalt nots” are not up for debate, yet many believers don’t comprehend the full meaning of the applying of this system of moral conduct as it applies to our relationship to God. This is not about us, it is about God and this is a direct command from God telling us not to put any other gods before him.
Look at Deuteronomy 6:4-5: (KJV) Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all they might.
As you read the above verses, notice that the Lord our God is singular in verse 4—one Lord and not plural—No gods, just one. In verse 5, again this is in singular tense, and thou shalt (individual) do the following: Love the Lord thy God, How? With all thy heart, with all thy soul, with all thy might. Not a partial, not a bit, not 99.99%, but will “all”.
As we close, hear is what The Holy Bible in Modern English by Ferrar Fenton says in Exodus 20:3—There shall be no other God to you, except Myself.
I must agree one hundred per cent with Ferrar Fenton—again, all is singular as this is a direct command, one of 10 not to be broken.
In our next lesson on the first commandment, turn to Mark 12:30 to see what Jesus says about the greatest of all the commandments and what gods effect our relationship with God.
Thank you for taking the time to read and love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.