05 March 2008

Westminster Wednesday #48

John Owen
Are we all set for WSC #48?

Q. 48. What are we especially taught by these words, [before me,] in the first commandment?
A. These words, [before me,] in the first commandment, teach us, that God who seeth all things, takes notice of and is much displeased with, the sin of having any other God.

1. Are we always in God's sight? Yes: Thou knowest my down-sitting, and my up-rising, Ps. 139:2. Are all our actions in his sight? Yes: All my ways are before thee, Ps. 119:168. Does he take notice of them? Yes: he pondereth all our goings, Prov. 5:21.
2. Are all our good works before him? Yes: I know thy work, and thy labour, and thy patience, Rev. 2: 2. Does he know all our inward worship of him? Yes: The Lord hearkened, and heard those that thought on his name, Mal. 3:16. And should that encourage us to have him for our God? Yes: for your Father sees in secret, and will reward openly, Matt. 6:4.
3. Are all our evil works before him? Yes: He sets our iniquities before him, Ps. 90:8. Is the having of other gods oftentimes a secret sin? Yes: They do it in the dark, and say, the Lord sees us not, Exod. 8:12. But does God see? Yes: He that formed the eye, shall he not see it? Ps. 94:9. Does he take notice of all our neglects of him? Yes: if we have forgotten the name of our God he knows it. And does he take notice of all our inclinations to other gods? Yes: if we have stretched out our hands to a strange god, shall not God search this out? Ps. 44:20, 21. And is he much displeased with secret idolatry? Yes: Seest thou the great abominations that they commit? Ezek. 8:6. And should this oblige us to be faithful to him? Yes: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, 1 Chron. 28:9.

Need it be said what we all know? Other gods creep into our lives very slowly and very easily. Whether it be a hobby, TV viewing, a person such as a family member, money, power, fame, materialism and the list of “other gods” goes on & on. Often we won’t even notice the growing sin within that takes over as we start to worship that which pulls us away from the Creator of the universe. We must daily mortify this sin, as John Owen instructs us, as any other sin. For certainly God knows our hearts, If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart (Psalm 44:20-21).

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