2nd commandment you shall not make any carved images

2nd Commandment: You Shall Not Make Any Carved Images

Exodus 20:4

The first of the Ten Commandments deals with who to worship, and the second commandment deals with how to worship. The second commandment forbids false worship and false gods, and therefore it commands true worship.

What Is the Second Commandment?

Exodus 20:4-5a

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.

We become like what we worship. When we worship idols, false gods, we become like the idols. (Read Psalm 115:4-8.) When we worship God, we become like God.

Understand Who God Is

The best thing you can do for your children is to teach them how to worship. It is parents’ duty and privilege to give their children a proper understanding of God.

What Is Idolatry (Idol Worship)?

Idolatry is wrong because it gives a false concept of God.

“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). No material thing can designate God. “‘To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal?’ says the Holy One” (Isaiah 40:25). We can say that one man is like another man, one chair is like another chair, but there is only one God.

God has the monopoly on being God, and He is not a part-time king. He is a jealous God. You have no right to worship anything but Him.

Idolatry is the greatest sin, because it breaks the greatest commandment. “Jesus said to him, ‘“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment’” (Matthew 22:37-38).

Modern-Day Idolatry

Luther said it well: “Anything on which your heart relies and depends, I say, that is really your God” (Martin Luther, Large Catechism).

In modern culture, we have made gods of ourselves. Paul warned of men who would be lovers of themselves more than lovers of God. (See 2 Timothy 3:1-5.)

Some make an idol of money, or pleasures. The Bible says that such people will not inherit the kingdom of God. (See Galatians 5:19-21.)

Some make an idol of family. You ought to adore your family, but the worst thing you can do is to put your family first—because whatever is first is god. Jesus said, “He who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matthew 10:37b).

Worship God Biblically

God says that wrong worship is iniquity—sin! You cannot choose how you want to worship. A fathers’ false worship shows up in sons, grandsons, and great-grandsons. (See Exodus 20:5.)

But God says, “The generation of the upright will be blessed” (Psalm 112:2).

Exodus 20:5b-6

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. (Emphasis added.)


Celebrate God

There must be prayerful celebration of God in your home.

If someone asked your children, “What is most important to Daddy and Mommy?” How many children would say, “Their most important thing is their relationship with God”?

Celebrate God in front of your children! Your children know that their mommy and daddy are imperfect—they really know that. But let them also know that you love God, and you will be blessed to see them pass that down to your grandchildren.

Known for his evangelistic zeal and uncompromising commitment to the Word of God, Adrian Rogers was one of the greatest preachers, respected Bible teachers, and Christian...

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