Father, are You serious…no carved images?

May 9

And God spoke all these words, saying:

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

“You shall have no other gods before Me.

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image — 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; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Then the word of the Lord came to Samuel: “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was troubled, and he cried out to the Lord all that night.

Early in the morning Samuel got up and went to meet Saul, but he was told, “Saul has gone to Carmel. There he has set up a monument in his own honor…

Exodus 20:1-6, 1 Sam 15:10-12

Father, here we read the first two of the ten commandments. We are not to have any other gods and we are not to make carved images of anything in the heavens, the earth, or the water beneath the earth. Do those words not cover every dimension of our physical existence?

Then we read of Saul, the first King of Israel who, after much success, set up a monument to himself, not unlike Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, who erected a giant golden statue of himself, commanding the people to worship the statue when specific music was played.

Father, do we not build monuments, statues and worship objects and art that amount to images of men, animals or gods? Is this as serious a sin as it was to King Saul and King Nebuchadnezzar?  Give us wisdom we pray in grasping the gravity of the first and second commandments. To the extent that we look to any graven image with the honor and respect that is due only You, we are sorry. Help us move from sorrow to repentance and to make whatever changes are necessary as we seek to obey You.

Father, we seek to worship and glorify You and You only. It Is too small a thing to say that You are without equivalent because it implies comparison. You are incomparable, not better, but incomparable.  Bless us as we seek to understand how much it disturbs You when we elevate man, images, animals and objects to a level that suggests worship.  In Jesus Holy name and in His service we pray. Amen.

Bruce Caldwell
The Sola Scriptura Project

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