December 18, 2017

The Second Commandment

George Stiekes

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. Exodus 20:4

Based on the first commandment, this one just makes sense. If we are not to have any other gods before Him, then He alone is the God that we will worship and any image made would detract from His likeness, greatness and glory. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

The children were to draw pictures of famous people. The teacher asked one little child who it was he was drawing. He said, I’m drawing a picture of God! The teacher replied, But no one knows what God looks like. He responded, They will now!

Perhaps this is part of the reason for this commandment. There have been so many images, icons, and idols that have been made and many have been found to worship the images instead of God. The heathen nations surrounding the children of Israel had all kinds of gods that they created. When they were in Egypt, they were introduced to a number of different deities by way of images.

Another reason for this commandment was to give some instruction as to how man ought to worship the Lord. We are not to worship God in a wrong way.

We should recognize that the Ten Commandments are not simply an arbitrary set of rules, but a direct reflection of the nature of God Himself. Giving the children of Israel the law was one way God was revealing Himself to them. By obedience, they were to reflect His very nature. The same is true for us today and when we obey His law, we reflect something of His glory. This is one way we can glorify God.

Romans 3:23 defines sin as falling short of the glory of God. When we sin, we break or transgress the law (I John 3:4). This is one of the ways we know that the law is an expression of God’s glory.

There should be a longing desire within our souls to know Him more. God’s Word states: I love them that love me, and those that seek Me early shall find Me (Proverbs 8:17). And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13). Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know My ways … (Isaiah 58:2).

God desires that we know Him — not through images, but through His Word where He has revealed Himself, through obedience to His Word and through talking to Him (John 14:21). We must not assume any physical likeness. It is important to understand that the more we know the Lord, the greater will be our understanding of God (John 14:19). The essence of our relationship to Christ in the age of grace is expressed in the words — Ye in me, and I in you (John 14:20). Are you daily seeking Him? It is so incredible to think that the one and only God, Who is our Creator, sustainer, redeemer and end of all things desires that we know Him and makes it possible in the age of grace through Jesus Christ our Lord. And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that WE MAY KNOW HIM THAT IS TRUE, we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life (I John 5:20). When John states we know, it is with certainty. We know for sure! We know that we are of God. So make it your life’s goal to know Him, experience Him, and fellowship with Him with a longing to see His Son face to face.

George Stiekes held successful pastorates in churches in Michigan and Washington among other places. He currently resides in North Carolina and blogs at Reverent Reflections. We recommend his ministry and republish his material by permission.

Although Proclaim & Defend is the blog of the FBFI, the articles we post are not an expression of the views of the FBFI as a whole, they are the views of the author under whose name they are published. The FBFI speaks either through position statements by its board or through its president. Here at Proclaim & Defend, we publish articles as matters of interest or edification to the wider world of fundamentalist Baptists and any others who might be interested.

Submit other comments here.