The deliverance of the oppressed Israelites from a nation as powerful as Egypt was an act of compassion and love, and God was worthy of worship. God’s command for sole worship is an act of love in itself. The covenant gave the Israelites a relationship with the creator of the world. The jealousy of God was the strong emotion born of love if he was betrayed by the worship of idols and false gods. There was also a measure of spiritual safety in these commandments. The worship of other gods was an appeal to evil and a path to destruction. If one was not worshiping God, who is good, than he was worshiping that which was evil. Faithfulness to the true God is a protection of souls. The covenant was dependent upon faithfulness, and God’s promise of lovingkindness was the reward. God established a line between those that would love him, and those that would hate him. To those who love him he would bestow his lovingkindness. Lovingkindness within this context is tied directly to the worship of God as part of the covenant. The generations who disobey, reject, and hate God, will face his judgment.
We live in the same fallen world today, full of false gods and idols. Some are obvious, such as practices of witchcraft, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and satanic worship. Others take the form of addiction to drugs, sex, or work. The modern world carves its own gods into cars, houses, and other material riches. It raises idols in celebrities, politicians, pastors, and even family. Even subtle idols, such as the church and the cross are abundant. God knows the emptiness of such idols. Under a New Covenant, God gave us a path to redemption in Jesus Christ, who, in the greatest display of lovingkindness, took the punishment for our sins upon himself. Just as God condemned the worship of idols, we must understand that there is no other way but Jesus (John 14:6). There is no sharing of the glory of God with idols of this world. Therefore accept the mercy, grace, love, and faithfulness of our Lord, and bow to no other(Phil. 2:10-11).