The Idol Rule - Graven Images Aren't Nice

Bible Book: Exodus  20 : 4-6
Subject: Ten Commandments; Idols
Series: Ten Commandments

Last week we looked at #1 We’ve Just Begun; God Should Be First in Your Life. Today we’re going to look at the second of God’s commandments. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image… vs. 4. It must be clearly understood that God was not saying don’t make any graven images. He was saying that your relationship to that image was more important than the image itself. Notice how God works in this commandment.

I. The Piety that is Prohibited, vs. 4-5.

A. The mind of piety, vs. 4.

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image… vs. 4. Isn’t it interesting to note the mind of piety? The first part of this command is easily broken down; don’t make anything that becomes your god. The phrase graven image clearly denotes any carved or molten image; something to make us more pious. A little girl was asked to do a work of art. The teacher asked her what she was drawing. “God” she replied. The teacher firmly said, “You can’t draw God. No one knows what He looks like.” The little girl replied, “They will when I get through!” Listen! God said you don’t know what I look like so don’t make anything and place it in your presence, pray to it, sing to it or trust in it to work miracles for you. I believe that’s the whole problem with prayer clothes, placing your hand on the TV, carrying little images of saints, rabbit’s feet or good luck coins and believing that God’s power and presence is experienced through such things. God’s power is demonstrated through the believer by faith; that which is unseen! So many people have a mind of piety; they think doing certain things in certain ways put them in the presence of God. Not only do we see the mind of piety, but also:

B. The magnitude of piety, vs. 4-5.

…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: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them… vs. 4-5. The magnitude of idol worship is unbelievable. Notice how God addresses this issue in heaven above. Not heaven where God is but in the air above; birds or bugs that fly in the air; the moon and stars. Notice Deuteronomy 4:15-19 Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven. The magnitude of piety is far reaching. People will worship anything that promises a better life but few will worship the One who offers eternal life! Please get this! It’s not sculpture as such, not visual and pictorial representations as a means of communication or works of art; its things you trust outside of a personal relationship with God! …in the earth…in the water… vs. 4. This covers the gamete! There is no god outside of the one true and living God Jehovah. Don’t bow down or even reverence them as sacred. Don’t use them in rituals of faith because if you do it won’t be long until people will flock to that image or that place to “see God” or “experience God”. God is not, nor will He ever be, confined to some material object. Listen! He is an object of the heart of living mankind. Not only do we see the piety that is prohibited, but also.

II. The Price that is Paid, vs. 5-6.

A. The price for false worship, vs. 5.

…visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, vs. 5. God said I’ll not share this throne with anyone! To make exceptions to this command will cost you dearly. God is not bent on revenge. The facts are plain and simple; He is God and to respect Him as less will have its consequences. Your disregard for God will be reflected in your children’s life! Write it down as a fact from God! We put other gods in our schools and it is destroying our morals, integrity and will. Do we really care about our children and grandchildren as we hear in every campaign slogan? Put God back in our schools! In our government! And in our hearts! Then we will receive God’s best. Notice not only the price for false worship, but also:

B. The price for faithful worship, vs. 6.

And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments, vs. 6. A peek at God’s mercy and God’s blessings are far more reaching than His curse. God said, I’ll bless not only the third and fourth generations but to thousands generation. I’ll never tire of blessing them that love me, and keep my commandments, vs. 6. This is the price we pay for our love and obedience to God! Seeing society blessed as a whole from generation to generation as long as we are obedient is price God pays! We’re going to be effected by one of these two prices; which will you be responsible for? You say, I’m just one, can I make a difference? The answer is, Yes, you can make a difference for your kids and grand kids!