In the US Constitution, the 2nd Amendment matters. But for the 10 Commandments, the 2nd command matters much.
In Exodus 20, God says, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image.”
Here’s what you can do.
1. Observe the Second Command.
It’s not a suggestion but a prohibition. It’s a divine mandate that demands obedience.
“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.
Obviously, it means “do not make idols.” Period. Such idols (Hebrew pe.sel) are objects of worship, love, affection or offering.
Repeatedly, making idols were forbidden in the whole Bible. Such “likeness” indicates form, image, representation, or semblance. However, these carved images are not referring to temple object or household figurines for arts and decorations.
Of the 30 references of “idol” in the Old Testament, the “carved image” is first mentioned here. This is where we get the word “idolatry” or extreme admiration or reverence for someone or something.
2. Obey the Giver of the Command.
Many would say, “We don’t actually worship the image, we just respect it, like we respect our father, mother or loved ones.”
Have you begin to observe that there are offered prayers involved and not just love, affection, and respect?
But God’s commands in making or having carved images for reverence or worship are evidently prohibited. The second commandment goes, “You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God.”
Why would God prohibit the act of bowing or paying service of homage to carved images?
It’s because God’s nature forbids it. He is a jealous God. So whether these carved images represent someone other than God, be it a revered person or any objects, God feels suspicious.
3. Obtain theExact Results.
Arguing the thin difference between respect and reverence regarding carved images is like a tightrope walk for an ordinary person. But even if one would succeed in walking across the game, the risk is given.
Disobedience to the second commandment is still spiritually catastrophic. Due to idolatry, God clearly warns of “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.”
Elsewhere in Deuteronomy, there is a spiritual curse for idolatry. God made the solemn utterance to inflict harm and punish, not just “the sins of the fathers” but of the children and great grandchildren.
Ignorance of this law is not an exemption. As such, the consequences and curses are trans-generational.
Have you noticed that idolatrous nations suffered serious consequences for thier collective actions?
But for our obedience to the second Commandment, there are blessings. God also invokes His commitment to bless and express his unwavering love to those who obey—from the parents and from one generation to another.
Have you ever thought of the results of your obedience to your posterities?
Until now, I believe, God asks this question, “O Ephraim [or Israel], what have I to do with idols?”
And for the church, “What agreement has the temple of God with idols?”
The answer is now upon you.
As for me, the answer is straight—nothing.
Glenn Plastina © 2017