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The Second Commandment - Part 1

Exodus 20:4
“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.”

The second commandment is a warning from God against images and idols. Let’s take a closer look. This will take two days because there are two specific words we are going to look at. The first is “image.” God clearly does not want us to make images.

What is wrong with that? To understand, let’s try to see what an image is in God’s eyes.

Where have we read about images before in the Bible? If we go back to the book of Genesis, we find that there is something special about an image. When God made man, He set us apart from all other created beings by doing something unique ... He put His image into us.

Genesis 1:27
“So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

What does an image do? It represents the original. It is a reflection, or a replica, of the truth that it is representing. When God put His image in us, He set us apart from the rest of creation to be the image-bearers. We bear witness to the truth that is God.

When we become image-MAKERS, instead of image-BEARERS, we are saying to God that we don’t want His image. We want to make our own images. We are rejecting God. In effect, we are saying that truth can be found in something other than Him. That is how an image becomes an idol. It is a replacement for God Himself.

Humans are worshippers. We were created for that purpose. We constantly find ourselves worshipping the things around us. We make idols out of our singers, our athletes, our actors, our politicians, the wealthy, the good looking ... you name it, there is someone who worships it. That is why God has made such a big deal of this commandment.

So, how do we overcome all that? If we keep our eyes on Him all will be well. When we shift our focus to our idols, we lose what He has generously given. Don’t create idols out if the ordinary. It’s that simple.

Ezekiel 14:3
“Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts and have put right before their faces the stumbling block of their iniquity.”

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