When I asked through social media what people thought when they heard the word, “hillbilly,” the one response that stood out was this: the Grimm boys! Now I know that my 3 brothers and I are from a rural area in Ohio, but are we hillbilly? When we take the Scotch-Irish definition of hillbilly meaning one from the hills who is a good friend, then I sure do hope we are hillbillies!
It turns out that the word “hillbilly” was first used in 1892 to describe guys from Alabama who were fun-loving and known to shoot a gun on occasion (www.wikipedia.com). Since that time hillbilly has taken on a life of its own. It now means people from any part of Appalachia. So, the part of Ohio in which I grew up is part of Appalachia, then I could be considered a hillbilly! Since this part of Virginia is part of Virginia is part of Appalachia, then all of us here could be considered hillbillies!
Yet, we don’t use hillbilly the same way Hollywood & the media has portrayed it for the past 50 years. We may have our own way of doing things, but so do people from outside of Appalachia! And regardless where we are from, the Ten Commandments from God have impact on our lives. So, as a hillbilly, or if you don’t mind, as a person from Appalachia, or even as an American, the Ten Commandments matter to us.
We have the Ten Commandments in the Bible. They have their location in the Old Testament. And we know that Jesus, the Son of God, gave us his view of the Ten Commandments. This is important, for Jesus came to fulfill the Law. That is how the Law is to be lived, is brought to completion in Jesus. When we decide to follow Jesus, then we get to have the Ten Commandments made complete in our lives.
This fulfillment of the Law is not a stick in which to beat you. I believe we will see that through our obedience to Jesus, our obedience to the Ten Commandments, we gain a whole lot more than we give up. It is good to realize that their ain’t but one God.
A. Ain’t but one God to deliver us
- Israel in Egypt – slaves!
- God & Moses delivered Israel from Egypt
- Egypt’s firstborn died so that Israel could leave Egypt
- God’s firstborn died so that all people could leave slavery to sin
- Ain’t but one God to deliver us. He used plagues of flies, frogs, etc., to get the attention of Pharaoh. He allowed his son to die so that we might live. God is not choosey in delivering. By delivering Israel, he was using them as an example of how he can deliver the rest of this world. Why would God do this for us? Is he showing off his power? Or is it because of he loves us?
B. Ain’t but one God to love us
- Greek gods – (Mars, Jupiter, Eros) battle each other, to which will you be loyal, & which one will be loyal to you?
- Power, money, & control – battle each other, to which will you be loyal, & which one will be loyal to you?
- This is how God loves us
- He gives us life
- He shows his faithfulness/loyalty to us
- Will we be loyal to only this God?
- The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob loves you. The God of creation loves you. He has life for us. No other God loves you like this. Greek gods (and gods of other religions) are powerless to love you, for they will not be loyal to you. Your money and the power you have, or think you have, will not love you. Power & money only comes to those who can take it from others. Since God loves you, what is your response?
C. Ain’t but one God for us to love
- Joshua, at the time of the entry into the Promised Land – Choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in Egypt, or the gods of the Amorites; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15)
- Jesus – during the Sermon on the Mount, encourages us to place God first (loyalty & love); for when we do, we gain more than we have ever worried about
- Since God has loved us, we love him. What other god would love you? What other god could you love? When you love other gods, you soon find out that it is an unrequited love. They won’t love you back! And they don’t love you in the first place, they are too selfish to do love you.
This is simple. God has life for us. God loves us. And we can love him in return. Yes, a hillbilly can know these truths. Yes, a hillbilly can obey this command to have no other gods before the Lord our God. I believe anyone can know these truths (God has life for us, God loves us, & we can love him). I believe anyone can have no other God before the Lord our God.
It is a choice that we have. We can choose to love the God who delivers and loves us. When we do make this choice, then we gain life, and all that God has for us. What say you, whom do you choose to love?