No Other Gods

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: Isaiah 40:12-26

 

I.         The Ten Commandments formed the prologue to the Law of Moses

            A.        They were the foundation of the Old Law

            B.        Even though the Law of Moses ended, nine of those ten commandments are still in effect today.

            C.        Understanding these basic laws can help us understand the New Law - Romans 15:4

II.        The Old Law was directed to the Israelites

            A.        As the Ten Commandments are being covered again, Moses reminded the Israelites that the law was made specifically for them - Deuteronomy 5:2-3

            B.        Though it mentions their circumstances, the principles help us understand the God who gave these laws – a God who does not change - Deuteronomy 5:6-10

            C.        This is the first commandment. It is the cornerstone - Deuteronomy 6:4-9

            D.        When discussing the Old Law, Jesus pointed out that this was the most important law - Matthew 22:37

                        1.         It remains the foundation of the New Law

            E.        But to understand a law, we need to understand the terms

III.       What is a god?

            A.        Any person or thing conceived to have superior power and is worthy of worship, honor, praise, and exaltation.

                        1.         We often think of gods as something in the past, but there are gods today

                                    a.         There are the outright gods worshiped in other religions, such as Hinduism

                                    b.         There are some who claim to follow the God of the Bible, but their god is described so differently that it cannot be the same as God, such as the god of Islam

                        2.         Sometimes we find gods in unexpected places

                        3.         In fact, we recognize it in our language. We idolize sports heros and other famous people. We give them our praise and honor. People get short of breath in the presence of someone they have long admired for their superior skills.

                        4.         Sometimes it is material things that captures a person’s attention. There are people who make wealth into their god. Everything else is sacrificed to place money as one’s top priority.

            B.        But a god is more than just putting someone in place of honor or importance

            C.        A person or thing that you believe has the power to direct and control your life.

                        1.         There are people who believe the alignment of stars and planets controls their destiny.

                        2.         Others call on psychics to help them make decisions.

                        3.         Superstitions control many people’s lives, whether it is avoiding stepping on a crack or wearing a lucky hat for a game.

                        4.         Still others give prayers to luck as they are about to take risks.

            D.        Other gods are still with us, we just dress them up in different clothes and call them by new names.

IV.      Why there can be no other gods but God

            A.        Man tends to make gods of physical things

                        1.         We tend to focus on what we experience.

                        2.         Romans 1:22-23 - It is unreasonable to believe that anything in this world is greater than the universe.

                                    a.         Animals cannot create things greater than themselves.

                                    b.         Man is able to create things, but never on the order of complexity that this world functions. Many of the basic facts of this world we don’t understand, let alone control, such as gravity or even life.

                        3.         To claim that anything fashioned by the hands of man is superior to man is foolish - Isaiah 44:9-20

                        4.         Some try to avoid this by saying it is only a representation. It is not the god itself, the image merely helps them focus their minds.

                                    a.         By the way, this is the same argument that Catholic church uses to justify its images.

                                    b.         Isaiah 40:12-17 - Who can comprehend the works of God?

                                    c.         Isaiah 40:18-20 - How can anything made represent such a God?

                                    d.         Isaiah 40:21-26 - God is just too mighty in power. He exists beyond time. He cannot be represented.

            B.        The divine nature cannot be like anything physical - Acts 17:29

                        1.         Idols are mute - I Corinthians 12:2

                        2.         Idols are not living things - Revelation 9:20

                        3.         God has proven that He is unlike any idol - Psalms 135:5-18

            C.        No creation of man has been able to control the destiny of man - Isaiah 46:1-11

                        1.         Whether we talk of material things or a philosophy that man has devised

                        2.         Science has eased men’s lives but it hasn’t changed the nature of man.

                        3.         Psychology doesn’t solve problems. It doesn’t absolve guilt.

                        4.         Nothing of man can save him - Jeremiah 2:28

                                    a.         Isaiah 57:13 - Every god man has created for himself has failed this most basic test.

            D.        Other gods do not exist. They are merely the imagination of wayward men - I Corinthians 8:4-6

V.        There is one God who exists

            A.        As Jehoshaphat acknowledged - II Chronicles 20:5-6

            B.        God has proven His might in creating the world, in destroying the world with the flood, and in controlling events, both in the present and the future

            C.        It is this God who sent His Son into the world - I John 4:9-19

            D.        God is not so far above us that we don’t enter his thoughts. He cares for us. He cares for you

            E.        Will you come this day and declare your belief in this God and submit you life to His will. You can begin this very day.

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