No Other Gods

Lou Lotz

READ : Exodus 20:1-3

You shall have no other gods before me. (v. 3)

At a county fair I watched a man keep ten plates spinning simultaneously, each one balanced atop a wooden rod. One plate would lose momentum and begin to wobble, and the man would race to it and get it spinning again by rapidly brushing his hand along the edge of the plate. Meanwhile, another plate would begin to wobble and the man would dash to that one. He didn’t drop a single plate. But he sure looked exhausted at the end of the performance.

I see a lot of people spinning plates, frantically running here and there, tending to a plurality of demands. Your family makes demands on you. Your employer makes demands. Your career. Your friends. And you have to respond to these demands. You have to come when they call. We have such divided loyalties.

In contrast to the divided loyalties of life, the first commandment says, “You shall have no other gods before me.” When we place our trust in the one true God, all lesser loyalties find their proper place. Instead of racing frantically back and forth across the stage of life, keeping all the plates spinning, there is just one demand, one loyalty, one source of comfort and security – God.


Gracious God, may we live for you, and only you, now and always.