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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Large Catechism – part 60

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From the Word: And Deborah said to Barak, “Up! For this is the day in which the Lord has delivered Sisera into your hand. Has not the Lord gone out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor, and ten thousand men behind him. (Judges 4:14)

From the ConfessionsThe Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments

The First Commandment

You shall have no other gods before me.

Therefore, let everyone seriously take this to heart, not regarding it as though spoken by a man. For it is a question of either eternal blessing, happiness, and salvation, or of eternal wrath, misery, and woe. What more could you have or desire than God’s kind promises to be yours with every blessing, and to protect and help you in every need?

Pulling It Together

Just as Joshua exhorted the Israelites to choose whom they would serve (Josh 24:15), Deborah pressed Barak to trust the one God, fearing him more than Jaban, the Canaanite king, and his commander Sisera, with all his troops. Judas also had the option to fear, love, and trust God, but he feared the Romans more, wanting Jesus to be a military king instead of the Prince of Peace. We too, must take the matter seriously, choosing daily to “fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness” (Josh 24:14). Having no other Gods before the Lord, is to have the Lord go before us, imparting every needed blessing. These include, not only the benefits of this life, but forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life. If we do not honor the Lord as God above all, there is defeat and death, as Sisera, Jaban, and Judas knew too well. Therefore, choose life (Deut 30:15).

Prayer: Give me such faith, Lord, that I may arise and follow you today. Amen.

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