Read Exodus 20:1-3
1 Then God gave the people all these instructions:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.
3 “You must not have any other god but me. (NLT)
In my much younger days, there was a disused quarry near my home. Sadly, a boy fell in and drowned. So the authorities put a fence around the quarry to make sure no one else was in danger. The fence inhibited the freedom of small boys to explore, but it also helped keep them from harm.
So it is that God gave us rules like the Ten Commandments. They could be alternatively called the Ten Freedoms because while they might look like ‘thou shalt nots’, they are more likely invitations to live out our full humanity. We do best when we follow his instructions, given they are our maker’s instructions.
They begin with the command not to have any other objects of worship above the God revealed in the Bible. This was in an era when many gods were worshipped: people had different deities for different circumstances. In contrast, we are to have only one God. And he is the one who has shown himself in history: he is not the product of philosophical speculation. He is the God who acts.
If it is true that what we worship shapes who we become, this is an invitation to become like this God. And given this God later revealed himself in Jesus, it is an invitation to become like Jesus. A true passport to true freedom.