Dec. 26, 2013
Exodus 20-Part 3
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me. Exodus 20:4-5
LET IT GLOW
I will confess that there were several times in my life that I allowed my teaching career to be too important. It took up my evenings and weekends. I graded papers, planned lesson, worked on projects and enjoyed it. Oh, don't get me wrong, I attended church and even read my Bible daily, but I wasn't surrendered to God totally. I wasn't doing His will His way. I was serving my flesh, my pride. I was wrong to do this and I repented of this sin. In this season of my life, I now spend my mornings in Bible study and worship. (I only work a few hours a couple of days each week.) God has changed my desires and type of service. He has my heart, my time, my will. Who or what has yours? How do you spend your day?
In our last study, we discussed the first of the Ten Commandments. In it, God told us to not have any other gods before our Lord God. As I look around in our time, I see that various religions in our world. Some of groups of people have refused to acknowledge our God as the One and Only True Living God. Instead of surrendering unto Him, admitting they are a sinner in need of a Savior, Jesus Christ, they make a substitute god to worship. They do it out in the open, too. There are people who worship a different god with similar characteristics, others worship a fat statue, some hold to good works, while others animals. Then there are ones who worship nothing, while some worship the devil.
Some religions have their own standard book as a substitute for our Bible. Then others have changed the wording of our Holy Book, making it say what they want and not what God wants.
Yes, won't you agree with me that this world is no different from the ones that existed during the Old and New Testament times? Mankind really hasn't changed.
John MacArthur had this to say, "all false gods stand in opposition to the true God, and the worship of them is incompatible with the worship of Yahweh."
With all that said, let's look at the second Commandment, which is concerning idol worship instead of God being worshiped.
Looking deeper, we find:
- Any attempt to represent or caricature Him by use of anything is forbidden by our one Lord.
- Artistic expression was not the issue, but idolatry and false worship was.
- The Lord demanded full and exclusive devotion, so violations would affect future generations.
- He is a jealous God, according to verse 5, 34:14, and Deut. 4:24, 5:9.
- Man-made representation which is worshiped was outright hatred of the true God.
- As a consequence of their parents' disobedience, the children would feel the impact, even to the third and fourth generations. They would practice similar idolatry.
God is a spirit and cannot be represented by statues or any likeness. (Falwell)
The second commandment doesn't forbid making an image of something for artistic purposes; God Himself commanded Israel to make images of cherubim (25:18, 26:3). It forbids the making of images as an "aid" to worship. The use of images or other material things as a focus or "help" to worship denies who God is (Spirit) and how we must worship Him (in spirit and truth). (Guzik)
Do we make images of God which we worship or aid us in worshiping Him? Do we bow down to images, idols, as part of our worship? God forbids this. Beware of those who do.
Do we spend more time with our television, our computer, taking care of things than reading God's Word and worshiping Him? Is god only worshiped on Sundays, omitting daily worship?
LET IT GROW
Shall we look into the New Testament to see how we are cautioned?
- John 4:24 tells us to worship God in spirit and truth. God is a Spirit.
- Romans 1:22-23 is where Paul exposes those who exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like man, birds, animals, and reptiles.
- Acts 17:29 instructs us to not think that the Godhead (divine being) is like gold, silver, or stone, or an image made by man's design and skill.
- 1 John 5:21 is stated by John to keep ourselves from idols.
- 1 Corinthians 10:7 and 14 is where Paul warns the Corinthian believers in Jesus to not be like the Israelites in Exodus 32, when they mad a golden calf and worshiped it.
The streams of mercy run now as full, as free, and as fresh, as ever. (Henry)
I would rather receive the streams of mercy from God's throne than His judgment. (See verse 6)
As deity, God cannot be captured in a picture or a statue to be worshiped. Neither does He allow substitutes to be worshiped instead of Him. Since God is a Spirit, we must worship Him with our spirit.
Does fame, money, or career threaten our loyalty to God? To what or whom do we give our time, our devotion, our heart, and love?
LET IT GO
Examine my life to see if I have anything before my God.
Don't make or allow anything to be worshiped in God's place.
Worship, love, and serve only the One True God.