First Commandment: Thou Shalt Not
Choose Slavery To Earthly Government

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First Commandment (Exodus 20:1-6)

  1. I, the Lord, am your God, who [acted and] brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. [Therefore...]
  2. You shall not have other gods besides me.
God makes it clear that the state gods of Pharaoh could not release them from slavery.

Though Pharaoh was obstinate in keeping the Israelites in slavery...he could not prevent the God of Israel from delivering them.

Then God claimed the allegiance that the Israelites formerly had for the Pharaoh.

Allegiance is a covenant between a people and their protector.

From now on God would be the only protector of the Israelites.

These are the elements of the First Commandment. And it’s easy enough to recite.

However to understand the Commandment, there are four things to take note of so that you can grasp what obligations you incur under this, the first condition of God’s covenant with humanity.

The First Commandment is First because…

  1. In any contract, with God or with humanity, from time immemorial to the present day, the parties to the contract must be clearly identified.
  2. And God identifies himself as the one God who can act in the world, the one not made of stone, or wood or any other inert substance. He is the God who acted and brought his chosen people out of slavery (which they did not always think was a good idea [Ex 16:2, 17:3]).
  3. That means they must not choose slavery ever again though they were inclined to (Ex 16:2).
  4. God makes clear that loving him is not pious sentimentality played out amid hymns and incense…but love is actively keeping the Commandments. He reiterates this in Matthew. 19:17ff and John 14:15,21,23,24.

That means that we today cannot choose slavery, it is prohibited by the First Commandment.

Slavery means to be unable to choose (makes sense!) and follow God's law when man's law conflicts with it.

For example, if a police officer pulls you over for doing 100 mph in a 35 mph cannot say "Sorry officer, I only obey God's law and he doesn't have speed limits". Speed limits do not offend God's law.

But, if you are the Christian administrator of a Christian hospital...and you have subjected the institution to man's law...and man's law requires your medical staff to perform partial birth abortions...then as a slave to man's law you have a conflict with God's law...Thou shalt not murder...and as a slave you have no choice.

To choose slavery, a condition where you can only do what your master dictates, is to repudiate and reject the Lord God…who proves over and over that he will provide for us (Mt 6:25ff).

The Lord says to Moses… “I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them: in the evening twilight you shall eat flesh, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread, so that you may know that I, the Lord, am your God

Only the living God could even make such a promise…and deliver on it. Inert carved idols cannot.

To believe that stones, bones, religious talismans and such like contain living power over what happens to you is simply magical thinking...pagan mysticism. The serpent convinced Eve in the Garden of Eden (Gn 3:4) that a piece of fruit had the power to make her like God!! Go figure.

To believe inert objects have divine power to benefit you is an idea God rejects at once in the First Commandment...Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.

Only the living God can create and give you benefits. And he always wants something in return… ”Keep my Commandments”.

How do we break the First Commandment?

Like the Israelites, who yearned to go back to Egypt and enjoy the known benefits of the Pharaoh.. we often want the source of our benefits and sustenance to be based on the mostly empty political promises of earthly government...founded in Marx’s ten commandments and often called Christian socialism.

God’s ministers, the ones he chooses and relies upon to bring his people safely home, enslave themselves to being agents of the state by preaching the 'commandments' of an earthly master and promising not to preach God’s Commandments, the first of which is you shall not repudiate the Lord without punishment by returning to slavery under earthly ‘Pharaohs’.

Christian ministers make this promise to earthly government by consenting to silence themselves about God’s law when…for example…they sign the 501c3 application and seek and consent to be governed by earthly masters.

And the earthly government warns them that they need not apply for government restrictions on their ability to preach God’s law. Or by presiding at marriage ceremonies as licensed agents of the state and not as agents of God (you cannot be both…you cannot serve God and mammon).

That's how those who volunteer to show allegiance to human-made law...when it conflicts with God's law...violate God’s First Commandment prohibition against returning to ‘Egypt’ and embracing slavery.

Understood correctly, the First Commandment is to reject slavery. And the reason is because “I am, the Lord your God who brought you out of slavery".

God cannot bring you out of slavery and then authorize you to choose it. That would be a contradiction and contradictions are never true...they are always false. And God...the source of truth...cannot be false.

And there is a good reason why the first thing God does for his people is to bring them out of slavery. You cannot contract with anyone a slave...cannot give their free consent. And even God must have our consent to govern us because he created us to be free and have choice so that we could even choose sin…as did Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

God seeks the Israelites' consent to be his people

Then the Lord said to Moses “I will now rain down bread from heaven for you. Each day the people are to go out and gather their daily portion [and no more!]; thus will I test them, to see whether they follow my instructions or not.”

The Israelites were only to take what they needed and not display a lack of trust by storing up more food than their daily portion. God tested their faith to see if they believed he would continue to provide for them. Jesus reiterates this in Matthew’s gospel (6:25ff). But…disliking the hardships…and fearing that God could not be trusted…on their way to a land of freedom… and yearning to renew their indentured servant relationship to Pharaoh…the Israelites were free to withhold their consent and to reject God.

Isn’t it unbelievable that the Israelites... moved outside their comfort zone by God’s rescuing them from slavery...would complain like this…

Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Did we not tell you this in Egypt, when we said, ‘Leave us alone. Let us serve the Egyptians’? Far better for us to be the slaves of the Egyptians than to die in the desert.” (Ex 14:11-12)

So what might prevent you from obeying the First Commandment. What and who (including yourself) might you be a slave to that requires you to displace God’s law with man’s law or your own law based solely on your feelings? Or what inert objects do you believe to have beneficial or evil power over you? Certain crystals presribed by "new wave" religions? In what ways do you promulgate human law even when it contradicts God’s law.

And isn’t it a wonderful law when someone says to you “You shall NOT be a slave”?

From the First Commandment you can go to Moses and the Ten Commandments.

Or you can...

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