THE SOUL SEEKS FOR GOD
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: 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; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:4-6
Jesus said, “The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” Mark 12:29-30
Oliver B. Greene once said, “Man could not have written this book (speaking of the Bible) even if he would have wanted to; and he would not have written it even if he could have.”
Likewise God is not the creation of man.
Man does, however, create his gods. Men make their gods after their own imaginations. The gods of men are non-restraining, non-threatening, require nothing of their creators. They have eyes, but cannot see; ears but cannot hear; feet, but cannot walk. They that make them are like unto them. If there is no other reason for not making a graven image, that seems sufficient for me. I want to be like the Creator, not these flimsy, wimpy, panty waist gods, who cannot know today from the future, and who has no power over the affairs of men.
THERE IS NO IMAGE OF GOD – EXCEPT MAN.
NOTE: To make an image for worship is to lower ourselves. “They that make them are like unto them; so is everyone that trusteth in them” (Psalm 115:8).
The “Zodiak” are images in the stars. The images of “Terot” cards. Some worship men, including themselves.
THERE IS A DESIRE IN MAN TO WORSHIP. We must worship something, someone. Even an atheist worships – either herself/himself, education, academia, government, science or something. Wherever your heart is, there is what you worship.
Go to any continent, nation, city, or tribe and you will find worshipping people. In some places you will find people who worship the sun, moon, stars, and or planets. In other places people who worship the elements – water, wind, fire. There are many, probably on every continent who worship the dead through “seances” “necromancy” – wanting to know the future. In many places, and probably on every continent, there are those who worship God in Spirit and Truth.
God has placed this place in mankind’s hearts. Without God our lives are empty and without purpose. God has put “eternity in man’s heart” so that the things of this world can never satisfy (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NKJV, NIV).
Humans can search the world over for significance, peace, and for something worthy of their worship, but they will find none of those until they come to God by His Son Jesus Christ.
WORSHIPPING ANOTHER AND LESSER BEING. In God’s laws this is forbidden for the people of God.
Why does God forbid worshipping others? First of all, He says, “I am a jealous God”. He alone is responsible for our existence and sustenance. He is the One who has done everything to bring us to Himself. He is protective, loves us and desires that we be love Him. Secondly, He knows that whatever we worship is what we become in likeness. The Psalmist expresses this sentiment in Psalms 115, and 135. If we worship an impersonal idol with no restraints we will live with no restraints. The third reason is that He created us to worship Him, and to love Him and glorify Him.
When human beings devote themselves to another god they rob themselves of God’s glory.
To worship another is to add another burden to life. Idols have to be carried (Isaiah 46:1-2). I prefer the God who carries me.
WORSHIPPING ANOTHER AND LESSER BEING will not bring you peace, joy, fulfillment in worship, and will leave you condemned, and yet; in the end God will be glorified.
THE IMAGE THAT SEPARATES FROM GOD. “Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’ name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah. And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did. He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.” (2 Kings 18:4). It is obvious in looking at the totality of Scripture that images do not necessarily break the commandment. In Numbers God tells Moses to build a bronze serpent on a pole for the people to “look upon” – an act of obedience and faith in God (NUM.21:7-9). It is when the heart turns to that image and away from God and obedience to Him that is forbidden – to make the image an object of worship. In 2 Kings 18:4 the image of the bronze serpent on a pole is destroyed and called nothing but brass (“Nehushtan”= “That bronze thing”). King Hezekiah was angry with the people who worshipped this thing that had been a means of expressing faith in God.
Anything, from a “serpent on a pole” to a church building can become an idol. If it does it should be destroyed – at least in the heart of the one who worships it. Any object that is purposely built by another culture as an object of worship should be forbidden in our homes. To worship anything, but God is to worship demons; “What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing? But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?” (1 Corinthians 10:19-22).
What is THE IMAGE THAT SEPARATES FROM GOD? Anything or anyone that takes your heart and soul away from devotion to God and seeking Him.
THERE IS NO IMAGE OF GOD EXCEPT HUMANKIND. “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” Psalm 8:3-9. Though that image has been marred by sin, it is fulfilled in Christ Jesus.
Man is the only part of God’s creation of which God has said is made in His image and after His likeness. Remember, everytime you look at another human being you are looking at the image of God. Though this image is darkened by sin; there is light for thier soul. To murder the unborn in the womb is to murder the image of God. To curse another human being is to curse the image of God. To lie about another is to lie about the image of God.
IN SUMMARY –
I. DIRECT YOUR DESIRE FOR PEACE, SHELTER, GLORY AND WORSHIP TO THE ONE WHO IS WORTHY.
II. TO WORSHIP ANY OTHER IS TO LOWER YOURSELF TO THAT IMAGE, AND BECOME LIKE IT – WORSHIP GOD.
III. WORSHIP THE GOD OF CREATION, AND NOT THE CREATION.
IV. YOU ARE MADE IN THE IMAGE OF GOD;
It has been marred by sin, but you can offer true worship to God through Jesus Christ – He is the image of God unmarred by sin.
Admit you have sinned, confess your sin and trust in Jesus who fulfilled all the law by meeting the demands of the law by His death on the cross, by His burial; carrying all our sins away, and by His resurrection.