In our journey through the Ten Commandments, we come to the second command which is a prohibition against idols: “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. 5 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, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. ” Exodus 20:4-6
In reading this command, we can’t help but wonder why idolatry is so serious that God would forbid it? Why would the making of figures or objects of worship carry with it such severe consequences?
The Old Testament record reveals that when Israel drifted into idolatry it was met with great loss. Because of idolatry, Israel failed to reach the promise land under Moses’ leadership.
Even in the New Testament, the Apostle John warns those under his pastoral care, “Little children, guard yourselves from idols.” This very clearly shows that idolatry is not a throw back sin of primitive cultures, but rather a clear and present danger for all of humanity for all of time. (more…)