ALL ENTRIES TAKEN FROM THE AUTHOR'S WORK,
WHAT IF GOD...? Thought-Provoking Reflections About God (Michael Caputo)
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WHAT IF GOD HAD NOT GIVEN THE FIRST COMMANDMENT?
One of the greatest events in human history took place during Israel’s exodus to the Promised Land. Once Mount Sinai was reached, God asked Moses to climb it and there He gave him the greatest set of laws humans had ever known: The Ten Commandments. The first of these Ten Commandments asserts the total supremacy of Yahweh as the one and only God. Thus, in one fell swoop, all the myriads of gods worshipped on earth were declared nothing but an illusion.
But what if God had not introduced Himself to humanity as the only Supreme Being who alone is worthy of worship? What if humanity had never been blessed with this revolutionary concept?
Throughout its history, humanity was cursed with the worship of a multitude of fearsome and cruel Gods. The only known example of an attempt at Monotheism happened in Egypt where Pharaoh Akhenaton set up Sun worship. His attempt proved to be short lived and futile for, after a brief while, he was overthrown and all his efforts at elevating Monotheism were erased.
Few people fully understand how revolutionary the introduction of this commandment truly was. Up to Moses, human beings, with the exception of the few that God had revealed Himself to, had been slaves to horrific beings who had to be continually appeased in manifold ways, including human sacrifices. The manifestation of the one true God marked the beginning of the end of all the ancient gods. Joy Davidman eloquently captures this dramatic overturn in her book, Smoke on the Mountain.
... the belief in one God…laid the axe to sacred trees watered by the
blood of virgins, it smashed the child-eating furnaces of
Moloch, and smashed the gem-encrusted statues of the
peevish divinities…served by Greece and Rome.19
Unlike Pagan gods, the God of Israel was neither cruel nor immoral. He insisted on faithfulness to Him alone, but He also demanded righteousness and love toward one's neighbor.
Then came the knowledge of God. An almost unimaginable
Person…not to be bribed with golden images or children burned alive;
loving only righteousness.20
The first commandment was, therefore, the grand opening to a brand-new era that was to last perennially, and that would bring about freedom from psychologically oppressive and socially destructive ideas that had enslaved humanity for generations. It also introduced to Israel, and later humanity, to a supreme God who is outside of the physical creation, and who will not bear the worship of other false gods.
Therefore, if Monotheism had not been introduced, humanity would have continued to worship and to endure the oppression of a multitude of ghoulish gods that gave little and demanded much. Most of all, humanity would not have known the true God, a Being who desires and practices holiness, and who has the best of humanity at heart.
19 Davidman, J. Smoke on the Mountain. Philadelphia: The New Westminster Press, 1954, 22.
20 Ibid, 22.