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Bible Insights

Since 2003, our Bible Forum column has provided readers with valuable Bible scholarship and historical context. Now the column features shorter insights and ideas from contributors’ individual Bible study. This approach will continue to shed new light on familiar (or not so familiar) Bible stories, history, and scholarship. But we also hope it will inspire more readers to dig deeper into their own study of the Bible and Christian Science—and to offer their insights and discoveries for publication. 

The First Commandment

From the June 2011 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Last summer, I started really feeling the pull of different necessities. I was working at a summer camp and trying to plan where I was going to move once camp ended, concerned about my financial situation, interviewing for a job, and trying to remain focused on my work at camp. 

One day while reading the Bible, I realized the absoluteness of the First Commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3). Because it is labeled as a “commandment,” I know it is natural to think that we are ordered to “not have any other gods,” but on this particular morning, I read the commandment as a fact. I thought, “Oh, I won’t ever have any other gods before God.” It would be the same as if someone said, “You will not ride a unicorn today.” I guess you could interpret it as a command, but actually, it’s just a fact. And just like riding a unicorn is impossible, having another god is impossible—whether it’s financial stress or the burden of worry that seems more important than God. This is an idea I have returned to many times since this realization.

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