Posts belonging to Category Idols

Great Illustration of Why Idolatry is Wrong

(Excerpt from Sunday’s message on the Second Commandment.)

Adrian Rogers gives the following great illustration of why it is wrong to worship an image of God:

Suppose a woman walks into a room and finds her husband embracing another woman. He sees his wife out of the corner of his eye and says, “Now wait a minute, honey. Don’t get the wrong idea here. Let me tell you what I was doing. This woman is so beautiful, she reminded me of you. I was really just thinking of you when I was embracing her.”

There’s not a woman in America who would buy that, including my wife, Joyce! And God doesn’t buy it either when we worship something else and say, “Now, Lord, wait a minute. Don’t get the wrong idea here. I was only worshiping this thing because it reminds me of You. I’m really worshiping You.”

No, you really aren’t. That’s what the Second Commandment is all about.

(Adrian Rogers, “Ten Secrets For a Successful Family”, pp.44-45)

What is wrong with making an image of God?

(Excerpt from Sunday’s message on the Second Commandment.)

What is wrong with making an image of God for worship? It has to do with making up our own thoughts about God. Idolatry starts in the mind. As J. I. Packer put it, “Metal images are the consequence of mental images.”

The word “image” is related to the word “imagination.” How can we possibly imagine God adequately? We cannot. When we make an idol to represent God, we seek to bring God down to our level. Remember, sin was introduced into our world with the temptation, “You will be like God.” God created man in his image. When we make an idol, we attempt to create God in our image or according to our own ideas.

Idolatry is wrong, therefore, because it gives a distorted image of God. We must worship God as he has revealed himself to us in his word, and not according to our own imagination. Whenever we say the words, “This is how I like to think of God . . .” we should realize that we treading on dangerous ground. It does not really matter how you or I “like” to think of God. What matters is who God has revealed himself to be. The second commandment forbids you from thinking that God is like you or something that you imagine.

The difference between the 1st and 2nd commandments

(Excerpt from Sunday’s message on the Second Commandment.)

The first two commandments are closely related. “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol … You shall not bow down to them or worship them.” (Exodus 20:3-5) They are similar, but there is an important difference (as pointed out by Puritan preacher and writer Thomas Watson).

The first commandment forbids worshiping a false god. The second commandment forbids worshiping the true God in a false manner. The first commandment has to do with whom you will worship. The second commandment has to do with how you worship. The first commandment already prohibited worshiping the false gods and idols of other nations. The second commandment prohibits the use of idols in worshiping the one true God.

Aaron broke the second commandment when he presented the golden calf to the people and said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt,” and then built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the LORD.” (Exodus 32:4-5) Moses later instructed the people, “You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape.” (Deuteronomy 4:15-16)

The first commandment prohibits worshiping a false god or any image of a false god. The second commandment prohibits making or worshiping an image of the true God.