Let’s now quickly run through the 10 Commandments.
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS – DECODED
1) WHO TO WORSHIP
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.
Most people are annoyed at the idea of exclusively worshipping God. But then you see them single mindedly pouring out all their heart and mind on their houses, cars, jobs etc. Hypocritical, wouldn’t you think? You see, worship is the thing or person that has the number one position in our lives.
God says that when He is the first and most important person in our lives then He will bless us. It’s like getting married. We take a spouse and promise to love, cherish and protect them at all times till death parts us. Suppose one of the spouses suggests modifying the vow to state that they could have an open relationship. Reckon that will go well? Not likely. The wedding in all likelihood would be called off! Now, if we insist on exclusivity in a marriage relationship, then how much deeper would it be in God’s love? He claims an exclusive relationship with us because His love is true and loyal.
2) HOW TO WORSHIP
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—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;5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
God commanded that we don’t make any carved image to worship. Here are some reasons as to why He said so.
a) An image is limited but God is not.
b) An image is local but God is universal.
c) The gods we make are temporal and can be broken. They can get old and lose their luster. Our God is eternal!
d) An image is material. God is spiritual.
An image is a poor and distorted replica of the living God. That is why He never invites us to gaze upon Him, but asks us to listen to His voice.
Then the wood-carver measures a block of wood
and draws a pattern on it.
He works with chisel and plane
and carves it into a human figure.
He gives it human beauty
and puts it in a little shrine.
14 He cuts down cedars;
he selects the cypress and the oak;
he plants the pine in the forest
to be nourished by the rain.
15 Then he uses part of the wood to make a fire.
With it he warms himself and bakes his bread.
Then—yes, it’s true—he takes the rest of it
and makes himself a god to worship!
He makes an idol
and bows down in front of it!
16 He burns part of the tree to roast his meat
and to keep himself warm.
He says, “Ah, that fire feels good.”
17 Then he takes what’s left
and makes his god: a carved idol!
He falls down in front of it,
worshiping and praying to it.
“Rescue me!” he says.
“You are my god!”
18 Such stupidity and ignorance!
Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see.
Their minds are shut, and they cannot think.
19 The person who made the idol never stops to reflect,
“Why, it’s just a block of wood!
I burned half of it for heat
and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat.
How can the rest of it be a god?
Should I bow down to worship a piece of wood?”
20 The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes.
He trusts something that can’t help him at all.
Yet he cannot bring himself to ask,
“Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?”
Isaiah 44:13-20 (New Living Translation)
Isaiah tackles at length the ridiculous idea of making gods and images. Our God is living and He hears and speaks. What’s the point of speaking to an image that is deaf and dumb?
Further, this commandment also comes with a punishment. We are cautioned not to teach our children the lie that an image can listen to them or help them. We are instructed to leave behind a positive legacy and teach them about the true and living God.
…to be continued…