Don’t Make Idol Gods

Don't Make Idol Gods

A Study Of The Ten Commandments:

4. Rule #2, Keep A Clear Vision Of God:

   “Don’t Make Idol Gods”

Exodus 20:4 “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:
5 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; 
 

6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”
If we were to rank the Ten Commandments in order of their importance, we just might rank this Second Commandment at the bottom of the list. You may be surprised to learn that there are more references to this Commandment in the rest of the Bible than to any other one. This fact alone should indicate something of its importance. God is concerned about what we think concerning Him.
Paul says in Acts 17:29. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device.
God wants us to have a clear vision of Him. God does not want us to have false or distorted mental visions of Him.
John 4:24. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Paul began the Book of Romans with and indictment of the world of His day.
Romans 1:22. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
 

23. And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
We humans are certainly religious and we will have a God. There has never been a culture or civilization found without some form of a God. Their God may have been some part of nature, sun, moon or stars or it may have been a totem pole or idol carved by their own hands.
Some believed in a Great Spirit who was unknown or out of reach of their thinking. In Athens Paul found an inscription to the Unknown God. The city was full of idols, some say 20,000 yet, they suspected that there was a higher power.
Acts 17:24. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
 

25. Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;”
We humans are naturally religious, God made us so. He created us with a thirst for His fellowship. Every human has a Spiritual Yearning that was intended to cause us to seek, find and enjoy God.
This “Spiritual Thirst” has developed many superstitions. From these superstitions Idols or Sacred Objects, which supposedly had magical power, have sprung up. This might be a Silver Shrine or Golden Cross, or a String of Beads.
I feel it is wrong to attribute some special power or superstitious belief in an “Icon” or sacred object. “Good Luck” charms should never be held for their own “Intrinsic” nature. There is no charm, icon or object which has any power in itself.
Beware of superstitions and keep a clear vision of God. Paul preached in Ephesus that there were no Gods made with hands.
Acts 19:26. Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:
Some superstitious religious Zealot had said that “Diana” had fallen from Jupiter. A huge Temple had been erected, into which many nations sent wealth and affection. Today no one serves “Diana” but the God whom Paul preached is worshipped in every nation.
Remember the Brazen Serpent the Lord told Moses to make and put on a pole to heal everyone who looked upon it? That brass snake was preserved and it wasn’t long before it became a superstitious Icon in itself.
2 Kings 18:4. He (Hezekaih) removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made (hundreds of years before): for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan. (A piece of Brass)
 

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing. We need a clear Vision of God. To know what God is like we need to take a look at Jesus of Nazareth.
 

1 Timothy 3:16. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
The Heart of God was made known in the words and deeds of Jesus of Nazareth. John 1:14. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
God came to earth in the person of Jesus Christ. He looked like God.
Paul says, Colossians 1:15. Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
Hundreds of stories have come down through the ages, how His clothes became Icons which brought healing. The Grail or Chalice which Jesus used at the Last Supper became a stumbling block to some. Pieces of wood, supposed to have been from the Cross were kept for centuries.
The Shroud of Turin, which is still being displayed as the Grave clothes of Jesus, is said to have great virtue. Certain fountains and waters are Icons of Religious Faiths.
These things happened in the History of Israel.
Judges 8:27. And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house.
Probably the most famous of all the idols in the Bible was made by Nebuchadnezzar. He made an Image of Gold whose height was threescore cubits, and the breath of it was six cubits. (90 feet tall) The three Hebrew Children would not bow to it and were cast into a flaming Furnace.
The Apostles warned against pollution of Idols.
Acts 15:20. But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
In 1 Corinthians 8:1-15, Paul cautions the Church against eating of meat which had been offered to Idols.
In Revelation 2:20. Jesus indicted the Church of Thyatira for eating things sacrificed to Idols.
God is a Spirit and came to earth in the Person of Jesus Christ. Let us keep our Vision of Him clear.

 

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5. Rule #3, Be Careful Of Holy Things:

Do Not Use God’s Name In Vain.

Exodus 20:7. “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”

“Vain”=
1. Unproductive, Worthless, Fruitless, Useless
2. Having no basis of worth, frivolous, Empty
3. To no purpose, without effect
4. Irreverent, disrespectful

One of the rules a Christian must observe in his life is this, Be Careful Of Holy Things: We will discuss this rule in two ways.

1. In particular, with reference to the Lord’s Name in our reading.
2. In general as a retaining to all things dedicated to God.

The very name of God is sacred.
Psalms 111:9. “He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.” Sacred is His Name.
Nehemiah 9:5 “…Stand up and bless the LORD your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.” It Is A Glorious Name.
Psalms 8:1. “O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.”   It Is An Excellent Name.
9. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!”
The Jews interpreted this Third Commandment so narrowly that they began to avoid pronouncing that Divine Name. The fear of some vain use of the Covenant Name came to the point that it was pronounced only once a year by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement.
At other times they would substitute the Hebrew word Adonai (Lord) or Elohim (God) instead of Yahweh (Jehovah). Other times they simply said “The Holy One, Blessed Be He.” But God was not forbidding the use of His Name by His People. But to use it discreetly, wisely, reverently and adoration.
We should never use His Name flippantly or carelessly. What’s in a Name? We often hear people say “Oh, there’s nothing in a name.” In the Bible a person’s name had even greater significance that it does today.
A person’s name revealed his character and identified his role in God’s eyes. God changed the name of Abram (Father) to Abraham (Father of a multitude).
Eve – Mother of Life
Elijah – My God is Jehovah
Elisha – To whom God is Salvation
Daniel – God’s Judge
David – Beloved
Joshua – Jehovah is Salvation
Jesus – Saviour
Paul – Little
Jacob – Supplanter—
When it was time for Jesus to be born His name was not given accidentally by Joseph or Mary. His name was announced by an Angel. His name is so special and sacred.
Matthew 1:21. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: (Saviour) for he shall save his people from their sins.
Peter says in Acts 4:12. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
This is why Jesus’ name is not to be trifled with or treated with contempt or disdainfully or scornfully. His name is not to be used with willful disregard or disrespect. There is something in that Name. It is a Sacred and Holy Name.
Exodus 20:7. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
This Commandment forbids any use of that Name that falls short of due respect or dignity. It also forbids the use of that Honorable Name in any profane manner.
The Third Commandment forbids the use of God’s Holy Name or to voice our unholy feelings. Shock and grief often bring s a profane use of Sacred Names such as “My God” or “Oh, Christ” Anger will cause some people to use God’s Name in vain.
People will ask God to damn someone they want to hurt. This is an evil speaking generation. Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:16. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
The rule forbids the use of “Eu-Phonic” (Sound –Like  expressions of the Name of God). Jeez! is a sliced off form of the Holy Name of the Savior of the world. Gah! Needs only the D sound added to invoke the One to be worshiped.
So many slang words are a shortened form of The Name of God or Jesus. They are really softened toned down ways of using God’s Name.
Gosh! — Golly! – Gol-Darn!
Lord how mercy! For Heaven Sake! Gee Whiz!
God’s Name is Sacred. God’s Name is Holy.
Be Careful of Holy things:
This Commandment is not intended to discourage our use of God’s Name. This Commandment was given to promote the use of His Name properly and reverently. Do have the Name of Jesus on your lips to honor Him. Use it in prayer, in worship, in praise and in adoration.
If your mouth has been foul and profane, clean it up! Wash your mouth out!
Matthew 15:18. But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
Be Careful of Holy things:
2 Samuel 6:6. And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.
7. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.
Numbers 4:15. …… “after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die.”
Be Careful of Holy Things:
Exodus 20:7. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
“His Name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father and The Prince of Peace.”

 

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We Hope you enjoyed this section of the study of the Ten Commandments and will also read the other sections of it.
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Click on the links below to read the First & Second & Third parts of this study.
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Study #1,  http://www.everyonesapostolic.org/articles/1343/1/A-Study-Of-The-Ten-Commandments-1/Page1.html
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Study #3,  http://www.everyonesapostolic.org/articles/1345/1/A-Study-Of-The-Ten-Commandments-3/Page1.html
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Study #4,  http://www.everyonesapostolic.org/articles/1346/1/A-Study-Of-The-Ten-Commandments-4/Page1.html
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E-Mail,  Godsgrazingfield@att.net
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About the author

James Thornton

I am a retired pastor currently living in the Nashville, TN area. We attend First Church, Bro. Ron Becton pastor. We've been putting our sermons and Bible studies online for more than five years in an effort to continue our ministry.