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Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.…Prov 3:5-6

If we believe the God of Creation is an all knowing, ever present, all powerful and unchangingly perfect and holy personality, then whatever He declared would be instructive rather than informational.  Now, let’s take an in-depth look at His second commandment, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.”

In the old Testament, when Moses descended from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments, he was immediately exposed to what God was warning about in His second Commandment. There, in Moses’ 40 day absence, was a golden calf in full splendor that the people had crafted and chose to worship as their god. It must have looked and felt good.  The problem was it was a false idol made of earthly resources fashioned by people for people; the source, God Himself, was ignored.

As a youngster I attended a religious school and church that portrayed many statues. Please note that I have fond memories of the school and understand there is nothing inherently wrong with a statue as a representation.  The most significant statue I remember was of Jesus Christ hanging on a cross.  My childish focus trained me to gaze upon a perfectly crafted cross and a drooped man nailed to it. What I desperately missed in those days and too many subsequent years was the essential relationship that must be struck with the Spirit behind the rendition of Jesus Christ’s passion.  As a result, I reaped what was sown— a Spiritless, unforgiving religion based on an idol with no knowing or following appeal, and no real power to change me for the better.

The Bible says that God is a jealous God. In human terms that sounds petty and selfish.  From God’s perspective, it’s right on!  Based upon His flawlessness and proven performance, He justifyingly expects His chosen ones to put no other gods before Him and to absolutely refrain from idolatry. Discerning golden calves, statues, and religious jewelry is one level. Idols also come in more subtle forms. What about our wealth, jobs, family, pets, ideas, muscles, desires, education, fame, food, the earth, pleasures, feelings or whatever we may selfishly trust as our primary source?

According to Scripture, God is spirit and His worshipers must worship Him in spirit and in truth (Jn 4: 23-24). Jesus also said that the pure in heart would see God (Mt 5:8).  Let’s come to God this week with a pure and truthful heart and purpose to do what He alone wills for our lives. God is worthy and deserves our personal reverence and consistently obedient lifestyle. Let’s start today and purpose to put what the Bible refers to as mammon (or stuff in our practical language) in their rightful place – things or creations to use and enjoy, but not to dominate and take dominion over us. Please take careful thought to this second directive or commandment God is giving us: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image! …… and know that our God is a rewarder of those of us who diligently seek Him.

Ex 20:4; Heb 11:6