When a parent is teaching their child an important lesson for their safety, they say something like, “Don’t ever touch the stove.” They know that while their child needs to learn some lessons by experience and by choice, the danger of a hot stove is not one of them. Therefore, in love and for the sake of their child’s safety, the parent gives their child a command.
God does this same thing to us. In the same way as a loving parent, and for the same reasons, God’s first command is, “You are to have no other God’s before me.” And in another place, Jesus says the most important command is to love God with all our heart, soul, and strength. This isn’t the command of some insecure God who needs to feel wanted, this is command made for our safety.
He knows the beating our emotions and our self esteem take when we live for (worship) the praise of people, and the accumulation of possessions and influence. We make horrible messes of our relationships and our emotions when we don’t live for him. (You see this in people all around you, don’t you?) People think they’re making right decisions and living their lives for what matters only to find their marriages shipwrecked or their children making wrong choices. God hates this for us! It’s not the life he planned for us.
This is why he commands us to worship him alone. This is why he says, “Live only for me!” He knows that anything else for which we live will ultimately break our hearts and won’t result in all the good things he has for us. He knows that when we always say “Yes!” to his commands and ways, we will experience the benefits and blessings of being close to him. He loves to bless us!…That’s why he commands us to worship him.