“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20:4–6
Q: What is the second commandment?
A: You shall not make idols.
What does this mean?
Because we worship and love God, we should not make our own, pretend gods.
Do you know what the word majesty means? Majesty means that something is impressive, beautiful, or stately. We would say that a stunning mountain range like the Rocky Mountains or the Swiss Alps are majestic in their beauty.
What would you think of a friend who piled up a bunch of dirt in the backyard and then declared to you and everyone else that he had just constructed the Rocky Mountains? Sounds rather silly doesn’t it? It’s almost insulting to the beauty of those mountains isn’t it? Those Rocky Mountains aren’t that impressive if one can simply throw some dirt in a pile and call it the Rocky Mountains.
This is another reason why God doesn’t want us to make images of Him. We could never represent God in a way that did justice to His impressiveness, beauty, and stateliness. All the things that we could make with our hands would be nothing but a pile of dirt compared to who He really is.
Read Isaiah 43:10–11: “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the Lord, and besides me there is no savior."
- Was there anything before God?
- Is there anything “besides” God that can save?
Our Father, help us to see and believe that nothing we could ever make with our human hands could compare to who You really are. Give us eyes of faith to trust that which we cannot see. We trust Your Word and Your revelation of Yourself in Jesus. Thank You that we can know for sure that we will be saved when we reject idols and follow You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.