Moses convened all Israel, and said to them:
Hear, O Israel, the statutes and ordinances that I am addressing to you today; you shall learn them and observe them diligently. The Lord our God made a covenant with us at Horeb.... The Lord spoke with you face to face at the mountain, out of the fire, and he said:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God... showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)
Most experts agree that the Book of Deuteronomy was written later than Exodus (which has the first account of the Ten Commandments), probably in the time of King Josiah in the late 7th century BCE.. It was written at a time of religious reform and amplifies the original Commandments. The Commandments still have much to teach us, and today we look at the First Commandment. God demands that we have no other gods nor shall we worship an idol.
Many of us unconsciously break this Law. Ask yourself what you put before God, and what are your priorities. When we put other things before going to church (covid apart), or make excuses not to pray or read our bible, we are putting other things before God. When we become hooked on something whether it's drink or drugs or being wrapped up in another person or our children, so that nothing else exists in our life, then we are on a slippery slope. These can become idols! We need to allow space and time for God - the God who loves us and cares for us, and will help us to find time for him.
On applying to become a Deaconess in the 1980s I was asked about my prayer life. I remember saying that I prayed while I washed-up the dishes, because of having two very young children. I went back home to think again about how to spend some quality time (if short) with God. Luckily the Church thought I might improve!
You have been with us
since before our birth,
You have cared for us
throughout our life
and loved us as a Father.
May we put You at the centre
of our life not at the edge,
and continue to worship You daily.
If you want to learn more about the Book of Deuteronomy, the following website produced by the Bible Society is pretty good. I would suggest, unless you are really keen, that once the site is open you look at two sections: 'About the Author' and 'About the Times' (shortish passages), which add to what has been said above: