Thomas Watson
The Ten Commandments
File 7
(... continued from file 6)


2.1 The First Commandment 
    'Thou shalt have no other gods before me.' Exod 20: 3. 
    Why is the commandment in the second person singular, Thou? Why 
does not God say, You shall have no other gods? 
    Because the commandment concerns every one, and God would have 
each one take it as spoken to him by name. Though we are forward to 
take privileges to ourselves, yet we are apt to shift off duties 
from ourselves to others; therefore the commandment is in the second 
person, Thou and Thou, that every one may know that it is spoken to 
him, as it were, by name. We come now to the commandment, 'Thou 
shalt have no other gods before me.' This may well lead the van, and 
be set in the front of all the commandments, because it is the 
foundation of all true religion. The sum of this commandment is, 
that we should sanctify God in our hearts, and give him a precedence 
above all created beings. There are two branches of this 
commandment: 1. That we must have one God. 2. That we must have but 
one. Or thus, 1. That we must have God for our God. 2. That we must 
have no other. 
    1. That we must have God for our God. It is manifest that we 
must have a God, and 'who is God save the Lord?' 2 Sam 22: 32. The 
Lord Jehovah (one God in three persons) is the true, living, eternal 
God; and him we must have for our God. 
    [1] To have God to be a God to us, is to acknowledge him for a 
God. The gods of the heathen are idols. Psa 96: 5. And 'we know that 
an idol is nothing' (1 Cor 8: 4); that is, it has nothing of Deity 
in it. If we cry, 'Help, O Idol,' an idol cannot help; the idols 
themselves were carried into captivity, so that an idol is nothing. 
Isa 46: 2. Vanity is ascribed to it, we do not therefore acknowledge 
it to be a god. Jer 14: 22. But we have this God to be a God to us, 
when, ex animo [from the heart], we acknowledge him to be God. All 
the people fell on their faces and said, 'The Lord he is the God! 
the Lord he is the God!' 1 Kings 18: 39. Yea, we acknowledge him to 
be the only God. 'O Lord God of Israel, which dwellest between the 
cherubim, thou art the God, even thou alone.' 2 Kings 19: 15. Deity 
is a jewel that belongs only to his crown. Further, we acknowledge 
there is no God like him. 'And Solomon stood before the altar of the 
Lord; and he said, Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee.' I 
Kings 8: 22, 23. 'For who in the heaven can be compared unto the 
Lord? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the 
Lord?' Psa 89: 6. In the Chaldee it is, 'Who among the angels?' None 
can do as God; he brought the world out of nothing; 'And hangeth the 
earth upon nothing.' Job 26: 7. It makes God to be a God to us, when 
we are persuaded in our hearts, and confess with our tongues, and 
subscribe with our hands, that he is the only true God, and that 
there is none comparable to him. 
    [2] To have God to be a God to us is to choose him. 'Choose you 
this day whom ye will serve: but as for me and my house we will 
serve the Lord:' that is, we will choose the Lord to be our God. 
Josh 24: 15. It is one thing for the judgement to approve of God, 
and another for the will to choose him. Religion is not a matter of 
chance, but choice. 
    Before choosing God for our God, there must be knowledge. We 
must know him before we can choose him. Before any one choose the 
person he will marry, he must have some knowledge of that person; so 
we must know God before we can choose him for our God. 'Know thou 
the God of thy father.' I Chron 28: 9. We must know God in his 
attributes, as glorious in holiness, rich in mercy, and faithful in 
promises. We must know him in his Son. As the face is represented in 
a glass, so in Christ, as in a transparent glass, we see God's 
beauty and love shine forth. This knowledge must go before choosing 
God. Lactantius said, all the learning of the philosophers was 
without a head, because it wanted the knowledge of God. This 
choosing is an act of mature deliberation. The Christian having 
viewed the superlative excellences in God, and being stricken with a 
holy admiration of his perfections, singles him out from all other 
objects to set his heart upon, and says as Jacob, 'The Lord shall be 
my God.' Gen 28: 21. He that chooses God, devotes himself to God. 
'Thy servant who is devoted to thy fear.' Psa 119: 38. As the 
vessels of the sanctuary were consecrated and set apart from common 
to holy uses, so he who has chosen God to be his God, has dedicated 
himself to God, and will no more be devoted to profane uses. 
    [3] To have God to be a God to us, is to enter into solemn 
covenant with him, that he shall be our God. After choice the 
marriage-covenant follows. As God makes a covenant with us, 'I will 
make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of 
David' (Isa 55: 3); so we make a covenant with him, 'They entered 
into a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers.' 2 Chron 15: 
12. 'One shall say, I am the Lord's: and another shall subscribe 
with his hand unto the Lord;' like soldiers that subscribe their 
names in the muster roll. Isa 44: 5. This covenant, 'That God shall 
be our God,' we have often renewed in the Lord's Supper; which, like 
a seal to a bond, binds us fast to God, and so keeps us that we do 
not depart from him. 
    [4] To have God to be a God to us, is to give him adoration: 
which consists in reverencing him: 'God is to be had in reverence of 
all them that are about him.' Psa 89: 7. The seraphim, who stood 
about God's throne, covered their faces (Isa 6), and Elijah wrapped 
himself in a mantle when the Lord passed by, in token of reverence. 
This reverence shows the high esteem we have of God's sacred 
majesty. Adoration consists in bowing to him, or worshipping him. 
'Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.' Psa 29: 2. 'They bowed 
their heads, and worshipped the Lord with their faces to the 
ground.' Neh 8: 6. Divine worship is the peculiar honour belonging 
to the Godhead; which God is jealous of, and will have no creature 
share in. 'My glory will I not give to another.' Isa 42: 8. 
Magistrates may have a civil respect or veneration, but God only 
should have a religious adoration. 
    [5] To have God to be a God to us, is to fear him. 'That thou 
mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, The Lord thy God.' Deut 
28: 58. This fearing God is (1) To have him always in our eye, 'I 
have set the Lord always before me.' Psa 16: 8. 'Mine eyes are ever 
towards the Lord.' Psa 25: 15. He who fears God imagines that 
whatever he is doing, God looks on, and as a judge, weighs all his 
actions. (2) To fear God is to have such a holy awe of God upon our 
hearts, that we dare not sin. 'Stand in awe and sin not.' Psa 4: 4. 
The wicked sin and fear not; the godly fear and sin not. 'How then 
can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?' Gen 39: 9. Bid 
me sin, and you bid me drink poison. It is a saying of Anselm, 'If 
hell were on one side, and sin on the other, I would rather leap 
into hell, than willingly sin against my God.' He who fears God will 
not sin, though it be ever so secret. 'Thou shalt not curse the 
deaf, nor put a stumbling-block before the blind, but shalt fear thy 
God.' Lev 19: 14. Suppose you should curse a deaf man, he could not 
hear you; or you were to lay a block in a blind man's way, and cause 
him to fall, he could not see you do it; but the fear of God will 
make you forsake sins which can neither be heard nor seen by men. 
The fear of God destroys the fear of man. The three children feared 
God, therefore they feared not the king's wrath. Dan 3: 16. The 
greater noise drowns the less; the noise of thunder drowns the noise 
of a river; so, when the fear of God is supreme in the soul, it 
drowns all other carnal fear. It makes God to be God to us when we 
have a holy filial fear of him. 
    [6] To have God to be a God to us, is to trust in him. 'Mine 
eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord: in thee is my trust.' Psa 141: 
8. 'The God of my rock, in him will I trust.' 2 Sam 22: 3. There is 
none in whom we can trust but God. All creatures are a refuge of 
lies; they are like the Egyptian reed, too weak to support us, but 
strong enough to wound us. 2 Kings 18: 21. Omnis motus fit super 
immobili [The immovable is undisturbed by any commotion]. God only 
is a sufficient foundation to build our trust upon. When we trust 
him, we make him a God to us; when we do not trust him, we make him 
an idol. Trusting in God is to rely on his power as a Creator, and 
on his love as a Father. Trusting in God is to commit our chief 
treasure, our soul, to him. 'Into thy hands I commit my spirit.' Psa 
31: 5. As the orphan trusts his estate with his guardian, so we 
trust our souls with God. Then he becomes a God to us. 
    But how shall we know that we trust in God aright? If we trust 
in God aright, we shall trust him at one time as well as another. 
'Trust in him at all times.' Psa 62: 8. Can we trust him in our 
straits? When the fig-tree does not flourish, when our earthly 
crutches are broken, can we lean upon God's promise? When the pipes 
are cut off that used to bring us comfort, can we live upon God, in 
whom are all our fresh springs? When we have no bread to eat but the 
bread of carefulness (Ezek 12: 19), when we have no water to drink 
but tears, as in Psa 80: 5: 'Thou givest them tears to drink in 
great measure;' can we then trust in God's providence to supply us? 
A good Christian believes, that if God feeds the ravens, he will 
feed his children, he lives upon God's all-sufficiency, not only for 
grace, but for food. He believes if God gives him heaven, he will 
give daily bread; he trusts his bond: 'Verily thou shalt be fed.' 
Psa 37: 3. Can we trust God in our fears? When adversaries grow high 
can we display the banner of faith? 'What time I am afraid, I will 
trust in thee.' Psa 56: 3. Faith cures the trembling in heart; it 
gets above fear, as oil swims above the water. To trust in God, 
makes him to be a God to us. 
    [7] To have God to be a God to us, is to love him. In the godly 
fear and love kiss each other. 
    [8] To have him to be a God to us, is to obey him. Upon this I 
shall speak more at large in the second commandment. 
    Why must use cleave to the Lord as our God? 
    (1) Because of its equity. It is but just that we should cleave 
to him from whom we receive our being. Who can have a better right 
to us than he that gives us our breath? For 'it is he that made us, 
and not we ourselves.' Psa 100 3. It is unjust, yea, ungrateful, to 
give away our love or worship to any but God. 
    (2) Because of its utility. If we cleave to the Lord as our 
God, then he will bless us: 'God, even our own God, shall bless us.' 
Psa 67: 6. He will bless us in our estate. 'Blessed shall be the 
fruit of thy ground: blessed shall be thy basket and thy store.' 
Deut 28: 4, 5. We shall not only have our sacks full of corn, but 
money in the mouth of the sack. He will bless us with peace. 'The 
Lord will bless his people with peace.' Psa 29: 11. With outward 
peace, which is the nurse of plenty. 'He maketh peace in thy 
borders.' Psa 147: 14. With inward peace, a smiling conscience, 
which is sweeter than the dropping of honey. God will turn all evils 
to our good. Rom 8: 28. He will make a treacle of poison. Joseph's 
imprisonment was a means for his advancement. Gen 50: 20. Out of the 
bitterest drug he will distil his glory and our salvation. In short, 
he will be our guide to death, our comfort in death, and our reward 
after death. The utility of it, therefore, may make us cleave to the 
Lord as our God. 'Happy is that people whose God is the Lord.' Psa 
144: 15. 
    (3) Because of its necessity. If God be not our God, he will 
curse our blessings; and God's curse blasts wherever it comes. Mal 
2: 2. If God be not our God, we have none to help us in misery. Will 
he help his enemies? Will he assist those who disclaim him? If we do 
not make God to be our God, he will make himself to be our judge; 
and if he condemns, there is no appealing to a higher court. There 
is a necessity, therefore, for having God for our God, unless we 
intend to be eternally espoused to misery. 
    Use one. If we must have the Lord Jehovah for our one God, it 
condemns the Atheists who have no God. 'The fool has said in his 
heart, There is no God.' Psa 14: 1. There is no God he believes in, 
or worships. Such Atheists were Diagoras and Theodorus. When Seneca 
reproved Nero for his impieties, Nero said, 'Dost thou think I 
believe there is any God, when I do such things?' The duke of 
Silesia was so infatuated, that he affirmed, Neque inferos, neque 
superos esse; that there was neither God nor devil. We may see God 
in the works of his fingers. The creation is a great volume in which 
we may read a Godhead, and he must needs put out his own eyes that 
denies a God. Aristotle, though a heathen, not only acknowledged 
God, when he cried out, 'Thou Being of beings, have mercy on me,' 
but he thought he that did not confess a Deity was not worthy to 
live. They who will not believe a God, shall feel him. 'It is a 
fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.' Heb 10: 31. 
    Use two. Christians are condemned who profess to own God for 
their God and yet do not live as if he were their God. (1) They do 
not believe in him as a God. When they look upon their sins, they 
are apt to say, Can God pardon? When they look upon their wants, 
they say, Can God provide, can he prepare a table in the wilderness? 
(2) They do not love him as a God. They do not give him the cream of 
their love, but are prone to love other things more than God; they 
say they love God, but will part with nothing for him. (3) They do 
not worship him as God. They do not give him that reverence, nor 
pray with that devotion, as if they were praying to a God. How dead 
are their hearts! If not dead in sin, they are dead to duty. They 
pray as to a god that has eyes and sees not, ears and hears not. In 
hearing the Word, how much distraction, and what regardless hearts 
have many! They are thinking of their shops and drugs. Would a king 
take it well at our hands, if, when speaking to us, we should be 
playing with a feather? When God is speaking to us in his Word, and 
our hearts are taken up with thoughts about the world, is not this 
playing with a feather? Oh, how should this humble most of us, that 
we do not make God to be a God to us! We do not believe in him, love 
him, worship him as God. Many heathens have worshipped their false 
gods with more seriousness and devotion than some Christians do the 
true God. O let us chide ourselves; did I say chide? Let us abhor 
ourselves for our deadness and formality in religion; how we have 
professed God, and yet have not worshipped him as God. 
    II. That we must have no other god. 'Thou shalt have no other 
gods before me. 
    What is meant by the words, Before me? 
    It means before my face; in conspectu meo, in my sight. 'Cursed 
be the man that maketh any graven image, and putteth it in a secret 
place.' Deut 27: 15. Some would not bow to the idol in the sight of 
others, but they would secretly bow to it; but though this was out 
of man's sight, it was not out of God's sight. 'Cursed, therefore,' 
says God, 'be he that puts the image in a secret place.' 'Thou shalt 
have no other gods.' 1. There is really no other god. 2. We must 
have no other. 
    [1] There is really no other god. The Valentinians held there 
were two gods; the Polytheists, that there were many; the Persian 
worshipped the sun; the Egyptians, the ox and elephant; the 
Grecians, Jupiter; but there is no other than the true God. 'Know, 
therefore, this day, and consider it in thy heart, that the Lord he 
is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath; there is none 
else.' Deut 4: 39. For, (1) There is but one First Cause, that has 
its being of itself, and on which all other beings depend. As in the 
heavens the Primum Mobile moves all the other orbs, so God is the 
Great Mover, he gives life and motion to everything that exists. 
    (2) There is but one Omnipotent Power. If there be two 
omnipotent, we must always suppose a contest between the two: that 
which one would do, the other, being equal, would oppose; and so all 
things would be brought into confusion. If a ship should have two 
pilots of equal power, one would be ever crossing the other; when 
one would sail the other would cast anchor; there would be 
confusion, and the ship would perish. The order and harmony in the 
world, the constant and uniform government of all things, is a clear 
argument that there is but one Omnipotent, one God that rules all. 
'I am the first, and I am the last, and beside me there is no God.' 
Isa 44: 6. 
    [2] We must have no other god. 'Thou shalt have no other gods 
before me.' This commandment forbids: (1) Serving a false god, and 
not the true God. 'Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a 
stone, Thou hast brought me forth.' Jer 2: 27. (2) Joining a false 
god with a true. 'They feared the Lord, and served their own gods.' 
2 Kings 17: 33. These are forbidden in the commandment; we must 
adhere to the true God, and no other. 'God is a jealous God,' and he 
will endure no rival. A wife cannot lawfully have two husbands at 
once; nor may we have two gods. Thou shalt worship no other god, for 
the Lord is a jealous God.' Exod. 34: 14. 'Their sorrows shall be 
multiplied that hasten after another god.' Psa 16: 4. The Lord 
interprets it a 'forsaking of him' to espouse any other god. 'They 
forsook the Lord, and followed other gods.' Judges 2: 12. God would 
not have his people so much as make mention of idol gods. 'Make no 
mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of 
thy mouth.' Exod 23: 13. 'God looks upon it as breaking the 
marriage-covenant, to go after other gods. Therefore, when Israel 
committed idolatry with the golden calf, God disclaimed his interest 
in them. 'Thy people have corrupted themselves.' Exod 32: 7. Before, 
God called Israel his people; but when they went after other gods, 
'Now,' saith the Lord to Moses, 'they are no more my people but thy 
people.' 'Plead with your mother, plead; for she is not my wife.' 
Hos 2: 2. She does not keep faith with me, she has stained herself 
with idols, therefore I will divorce her, 'she is not my wife.' To 
go after other gods, is what God cannot bear; it makes the fury rise 
up in his face. 'If thy brother, or thy son, or the wife of thy 
bosom or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee 
secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, thou shalt not 
consent unto him, neither shall thine eye pity him; but thou shalt 
surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to 
death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.' Deut 13: 6, 8, 9. 
    What is it to have other gods besides the true God? I fear upon 
search, we have more idolaters among us than we are aware of. 
    (1) To trust in any thing more than God, is to make it a god. 
If we trust in our riches, we make riches our god. We may take 
comfort, but not put confidence in them. It is a foolish thing to 
trust in them. They are deceitful riches, and it is foolish to trust 
to that which will deceive us. Matt 13: 22. They have no solid 
consistency, they are like landscapes or golden dreams, which leave 
the soul empty when it awakes or comes to itself. They are not what 
they promise; they promise to satisfy our desires, and they increase 
them; they promise to stay with us, and they take wings. They are 
hurtful. 'Riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt.' Eccl 5: 
13. It is foolish to trust to that which will hurt one. Who would 
take hold of the edge of a razor to help him? They are often fuel 
for pride and lust. Ezek 28: 5. Jer 5: 7. It is folly to trust in 
our riches; but how many do, and make money their god! 'The rich 
man's wealth is his strong city.' Prov 10: 15. He makes the wedge of 
gold his hope. Job 31: 24. God made man of the dust of the earth, 
and man makes a god of the dust of the earth. Money is his creator, 
redeemer, comforter: his creator, for if he has money, he thinks he 
is made; his redeemer, for if he be in danger, he trusts to his 
money to redeem him; his comforter, for if he be sad, money is the 
golden harp to drive away the evil spirit. Thus by trusting to 
money, we make it a god. 
    If we trust in the arm of flesh, we make it a god. 'Cursed be 
the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.' Jer 17: 5. 
The Syrians trusted in their army, which was so numerous that it 
filled the country; but this arm of flesh withered. 1 Kings 20: 27, 
29. What we make our trust, God makes our shame. The sheep run to 
the hedges for shelter, and they lose their wool; so we have run to 
second causes to help us, and have lost much of our golden fleece; 
they have not only been reeds to fail us, but thorns to prick us. We 
have broken our parliament-crutches, by leaning too hard upon them. 
    If we trust in our wisdom, we make it a god. 'Let not the wise 
man glory in his wisdom.' Jer 9: 23. Glorying is the height of 
confidence. Many a man makes an idol of his wit and parts; he 
deifies himself, but how often does God take the wise in their own 
craftiness! Job 5: 13. Ahithophel had a great wit, his counsel was 
as the oracle of God; but his wit brought him to the halter. 2 Sam 
17: 23. 
    If we trust in our civility, we make it a god. Many trust to 
this, that none can charge them with gross sin. Civility is but 
nature refined and cultivated; a man may be washed, and not changed; 
his life may be civil, and yet there may be some reigning sin in his 
heart. The Pharisee could say, 'I am no adulterer' (Luke 18: 11); 
but he could not say, 'I am not proud.' To trust to civility, is to 
trust to a spider's web. 
    If we trust to our duties to save us, we make them a god. 'Our 
righteousnesses are as filthy rags;' they are fly-blown with sin. 
Isa 64: 6. Put gold in the fire, and much dross comes out: so our 
most golden duties are mixed with infirmity. We are apt either to 
neglect duty, or idolise it. Use duty, but do not trust to it; for 
then you make it a god. Trust not to your praying and hearing; they 
are means of salvation, but they are not saviours. If you make 
duties bladders to trust to, you may sink with them to hell. 
    If we trust in our grace, we make a god of it. Grace is but a 
creature; if we trust to it we make it an idol. Grace is imperfect, 
and we must not trust to that which is imperfect to save us. 'I have 
walked in my integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord.' Psa 26: 1: 
David walked in his integrity; but did not trust in his integrity. 
'I have trusted in the Lord.' If we trust in our graces, we make a 
Christ of them. They are good graces, but bad Christs. 
    (2) To love any thing more than God, is to make it a god. If we 
love our estate more than God, we make it a god. The young man in 
the gospel loved his gold better than his Saviour; the world lay 
nearer his heart than Christ. Matt 19: 22. Fulgens hoc aurum 
praestringit oculos [This gold with its glitter blinds the eyes]. 
Varius. The covetous man is called an idolater. Eph 5: 5. Why so? 
Because he loves his estate more than God, and so makes it his god. 
Though he does not bow down to an idol, if he worships the graven 
image in his coins, he is an idolater. That which has most of the 
heart, we make a god of. 
    If we love our pleasure more than God, we make a god of it. 
'Lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.' 2 Tim 3: 4. Many let 
loose the reins, and give themselves up to all manner of sensual 
delights; they idolise pleasure. 'They take the timbrel, and the 
harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ. They spend their days 
in mirth.' Job 21: 12, 13, (mg). I have read of a place in Africa, 
where the people spend all their time in dancing and making merry; 
and have not we many who make a god of pleasure, who spend their 
time in going to plays and visiting ball-rooms, as if God had made 
them like the leviathan, to play in the water? Psa 104: 26. In the 
country of Sardinia there is a herb like balm, that if any one eats 
too much of it, he will die laughing: such a herb is pleasure, if 
any one feeds immoderately on it, he will go laughing to hell. Let 
such as make a god of pleasure read but these two Scriptures. 'The 
heart of fools is in the house of mirth.' Eccl 7: 4. 'How much she 
has lived deliciously, so much torment give her.' Rev 18: 7. Sugar 
laid in a damp place turns to water; so all the sugared joys and 
pleasures of sinners will turn to the water of tears at last. 
    If we love our belly more than God, we make a god of it. 'Whose 
god is their belly.' Phil 3: 19. Clemens Alexandrinus writes of a 
fish that had its heart in its belly; an emblem of epicures, whose 
heart is in their belly; they seek sacrificare lari, their belly is 
their god, and to this god they pour drink offerings. The Lord 
allows what is fitting for the recruiting of nature. 'I will send 
grass, that thou mayest eat and be full.' Deut 11: 15. But to mind 
nothing but the indulging of the appetite, is idolatry. 'Whose god 
is their belly.' What pity is it, that the soul, that princely part, 
which sways the sceptre of reason and is akin to angels, should be 
enslaved to the brutish part! 
    If we love a child more than God, we make a god of it. How many 
are guilty in this kind? They think of their children, and delight 
more in them than in God; they grieve more for the loss of their 
first-born, than for the loss of their first love. This is to make 
an idol of a child, and to set it in God's room. Thus God is often 
provoked to take away our children. If we love the jewel more than 
him that gave it, God will take away the jewel, that our love may 
return to him again. 
    Use one. It reproves such as have other gods, and so renounce 
the true God. (1) Such as set up idols. 'According to the number of 
thy cities are thy gods, O Judah.' Jer 2: 28. 'Their altars are as 
heaps in the furrows of the field.' Hos 12: 11. (2) Such as seek to 
familiar spirits. This is a sin condemned by the law of God. 'There 
shall not be found among you a consulted with familiar spirits.' 
Deut 18: 11. Ordinarily, if people have lost any of their goods, 
they send to wizards and soothsayers, to know how they may come by 
them again. What is this but to make a god of the devil, by 
consulting with him, and putting their trust in him? What! because 
you have lost your goods will you lose your souls too? 2 Kings 1: 6. 
Is it not because you think there is not a God in heaven, that you 
ask counsel of the devil? If any be guilty, be humbled. 
    Use two. It sounds a retreat in our ears. Let it call us off 
from idolising any creature, and lead us to renounce other gods, and 
cleave to the true God and his service. If we go away from God, we 
know not where to mend ourselves. 
    (1) It is honourable to serve the true God. Servire Deo est 
regnare [To serve God is to reign]. It is more honour to serve God, 
than to have kings serve us. (2) Serving the true God is delightful. 
'I will make them joyful in my house of prayer.' Isa 56: 7. God 
often displays the banner of his love in an ordinance, and pours the 
oil of gladness into the heart. All God's ways are pleasantness, his 
paths are strewed with roses. Prov 3: 17. (3) Serving the true God 
is beneficial. Men have great gain here, the hidden manna, inward 
peace, and a great reward to come. They that serve God shall have a 
kingdom when they die, and shall wear a crown made of the flowers of 
paradise. Luke 12: 32; 1 Pet 5: 4. To serve the true God is our true 
interest. God has twisted his glory and our salvation together. He 
bids us believe; and why? That we may be saved. Therefore, 
renouncing all others, let us cleave to the true God. (4) You have 
covenanted to serve the true JEHOVAH, renouncing all others. When 
one has entered into covenant with his master, and the indentures 
are drawn and sealed, he cannot go back, but must serve out his 
time. We have covenanted in baptism, to take the Lord for our God, 
renouncing all others; and renewed this covenant in the Lord's 
Supper, and shall we not keep our solemn vow and covenant? We cannot 
go away from God without the highest perjury. 'If any man draw back 
[as a soldier that steals away from his colours] my soul shall have 
no pleasure in him.' Heb 10: 38. 'I will pour vials of wrath on him, 
and make mine arrows drunk with blood.' (5) None ever had cause to 
repent of cleaving to God and his service. Some have repented that 
they had made a god of the world. Cardinal Wolsey said, 'Oh, if I 
had served my God as I have served my king, he would never have left 
me thus!' None ever complained of serving God: it was their comfort 
and their crown on their death-bed.

Watson, The Ten Commandments
(continued in file 8...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-09: wat10-07.txt