Preacher's Pulpit by Dr. Joe Tims

Ten Commandments #2: No Gods Made With Human Hands Are Allowed

Exodus 20:4-6

INTRODUCTION

A Sunday School Teacher who was teaching the Ten Commandments overheard one of his men say, "Well, at least I never made any graven images!"

Perhaps we all share the same feeling that at least the second commandment does not really apply to us.

But before we draw our robes of righteousness about us and complacently dismiss it, let's look more closely at its full significance.

I. THE PROCLAMATION

(Exo 20:4) "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth."

A. Why TWO COMMANDMENTS? Don't they say the same thing?

B. NO! They are related, but also they are different.

C. The FIRST COMMANDMENT bids us to worship only the ONE TRUE GOD.

D. The SECOND COMMANDMENT bids us to worship Him spiritually.

E. The FIRST COMMANDMENT forbids us to worship false gods.

F. The SECOND COMMANDMENT  forbids us to worship the TRUE GOD under false forms.

G. Simply, the FIRST COMMANDMENT declares whom we shall worship while the SECOND COMMANDMENT tells us how.

H. In the SECOND COMMANDMENT we are shown that WORSHIP is not a matter of temples or buildings, but of HEART AND SPIRIT.

I. A right concept of God is basic to right LIVING AND WORSHIP.

1. God is not contained in buildings.

2. God is not contained in creeds.

J. God must be WORSHIPED in a personal and spiritual experience

II. EXPLANATION

(Isa 55:8) "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord."
 
A. Why would men make false gods?
 
B. We can see maybe why in the primitive days when men were ignorant and unlearned, but what about today?
 
C. Men make idols because they want to:

1. MATERIALIZE GOD - Man wants a God that is tangible. A material God makes it easier to believe in God. No FAITH is required. (Heb 11:6) "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He IS, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
 
2. LOCALIZE GOD - If God can be localized, He is not as likely to interfere with one's life. Jonah is an example of this by thinking he could escape the presence of God when he left Israel's territory. Modern day Christians think when they depart the Church they leave God's presence there! (Psa 139:7) "Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?"

3. CHARACTERIZE GOD - Man wants God to be like he wants him to be. Man seeks to create God in his image instead of being created in God's image! It's easy to change God to man's image instead of God changing us to His image! (Rom 1:23) "And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things."

III. THE ILLUSTRATION

(Exo 20:5) "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me."
 
A. We as a nation have our idols that we serve today:

1. GOD OF PLEASURE. (II Tim 3:4) "Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God."

2. GOD OF POWER. (II Tim 3:2) "For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy."

3. GOD OF PROFIT. (I Tim 6:10) "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

CONCLUSION

God knew that man would hunger for a visible expression of His person, gave us an image of the True God in the incarnation "....image of the invisible God.." (Col 1:15) In Jesus we have the true image, formed in sinless flesh and filled with divinity. The SECOND COMMANDMENT forbids us to worship an image made by man, but God gives us the true image we must Worship (Jesus Christ).