The Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. Keep his decrees and commands . . . so that it may go well with you. . . .
“The Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below.” This description was unusual in such ancient times. Almost without exception, the gods of other nations were gods of something. Ra was the Egyptian god of the sun, Baal was the Canaanite god of the storm, and so on. But the Lord is God over all things in heaven and on earth.
It is a relief to serve the one God who exists independently of heaven and earth. For whenever we desire something that is a part of heaven or earth, it will disappoint our deepest longings.
St. Augustine said, “One who seeks what he cannot obtain suffers torture, and one who has got what is not desirable is cheated, and one who does not seek for what is worth seeking for is diseased. Happiness occurs only when man’s chief good is both loved and possessed.” In other words, if we seek bad things, we will cheat ourselves. If we seek what we cannot have, we will torture ourselves. If we do not seek out what is worth finding, we will be diseased. Only seeking and finding the one true God can satisfy the desire of the human heart. This is why the command to love God above all else is really the key to happiness. Seeking the greatest good and finding it in God frees us from the love of other things that are unworthy, unobtainable, or inferior.
O God, may we seek only you. All other things will ultimately disappoint us. Lead us to find you and rest in you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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