You shall have no other gods before Me.You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. (Deuteronomy 5:7-8)
In our previous devotion, we established that if the God of Israel is God, in fact, the only God, then He alone is authorized to decree what is right and wrong. He alone determines what is acceptable and what is not. In that vein, He tells His people that they are not to have any other god “before Me.” This wording, as read in Hebrew, literally means “in my face,” which insinuates that serving these other “nothing gods” would be an intentional provocation inciting Him to anger.
There are other passages in Scripture where this provocative stance is used to describe rebels like Nimrod and Korah. The former was a “mighty hunter before the LORD” which is to say, “in His face.” Korah stood up to rebel “before Moses” which is literally “in his face.” Even in our day, when someone is “in your face” it is almost always regarded as a challenge with the threat of conflict. These kind of confrontations usually result in an angry demonstration. That, in a nutshell, is what the Creator is relating to us about serving other gods — to do so is to get in His face.
As believers in the God of Israel, our posturing should be much different. Rather than getting in His face, we need to be seeking His face. Rather than being arrogant and rebellious, we must be humble and contrite as we seek to draw closer to our Master, the One and only God, Creator of all. So as a popular song says, “We will not bow to the gods of men but will worship the God of Israel.”
Blessings and Shalom,