Note our text from the book of Exodus,
- “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. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me.” (Exodus 20:4-5 – NASB)
In his fallen state, in his separation from the true God, man seeks to define deity, and he often does it by that which he can see. Ultimately, at the very heart of this effort, is the strong desire to control that deity. Get it? Make the deity into the image of something he can see, then, form that deity into the “likeness” of that which he can control. This has been in the heart of man for generations.
God knows that we are prone to this. In love He warns us to “not make for (ourselves) an idol, or any likeness” and make it an object of “worship,” thus substituting it for Him. Attempting to corral God into the “likeness” of something we see is something He sternly commands us not to do!
Here it is for Christians to recall to mind what Jesus revealed to us regarding God and the worship of Him,
- “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24 – NASB)
Jesus set the record straight! He confirmed the very substance of the 2nd commandment’s instruction, reiterated it one might say. Acceptable “worship” of “God . . . must” be “in spirit and truth,” this “truth” being as given to us in God’s Word, where God has revealed Himself.
I recall my days in the Navy when I was able to travel to many countries. One of those countries was Italy. And it was here that I was afforded the opportunity to visit Rome. One need not look too far around this massive city to know that Rome is a city of “idols.” These “idols” are in the form of people, objects, and pictures. One cannot miss in all they see in Rome, a city associated with the worship of God, how man has made every attempt to form God into something he can see. The city of Rome is like one big violation of the 2nd commandment!
As I recall my journeys through Rome and looking upon the paintings of Michal Angelo, maybe it was in that age of creativeness, an age of discovering one’s human potential, maybe it was then that the public belittling of God began. For when man is allowed to shape and form God into an image he can see, he then senses control . . . . and maybe it is then that man finds himself violating, at its very core, the 2nd commandment of God.
Have a good day . . . and as you walk out your faith, do so with a strict adherence to God’s Word and His commandments.
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