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From The Pastor's Heart:
One of the things that I've thought about in these past couple of weeks has been the Ten Commandments. I don't think we are beyond learning the wisdom from these laws that God gave us.
I personally believe that these commandments still hold value. Not only an understanding of what God wants but also as a way for us to thrive and what it means to be human.
One observation of the first commandment, God does not say you shall have "no other gods" or that "I am the only God," he says, "no other gods before me." It seems it assumed we will have other Gods.
It's easy to assume that this law was just meant and the past when they lived in a polytheistic society or society with many different gods. But I'm a little concerned with the attitude of ignoring the first commandment as something we have evolved or progressed past.
I think we have other Gods here in 21st century America. There's a novel written by Neil Gaiman called
American Gods. The book's idea is new gods of America is in a battle of power with the old Gods of America. That literature has opened my eyes to the God-like language and God-like powers we as modern Americans use to describe forces. There are multiple in the book, but I will just focus on the God of the economy.
My high school economics class taught me about the invisible hand of the market. If I were to read how the invisible hand worked in an ancient culture like Syria, I would have described it as a God force controlling another God or mythological beast. The invisible hand correct bad practices and make sure the hardest working and best products to triumph. The hand and its economy it takes care of are responsible for the successful 'harvest' of economic goods, jobs, and retirement account of all who live under its control. Many determine the value of things based on what value or profit can help the economy. The profit or value that can be offered to the market is a sense of morality.
God's value is often is in direct opposition to the things the economy values. Widow's, Orphans, the poor, and all those described in the Judgment scene in Mathew 25 are often undervalued by the GDP or NASDAQ the economy but valued much by God.
We are not beyond the morality given to God's people many years ago. And maybe. We could still have the temptation to put other God-like things before God. If the question is, "How is this good for the economy?" enters our mind and hearts before "How is this what the triune God of the bible wants?" We may have a God higher than the one who gave us the commandments.