In New York Harbor the STATUE OF LIBERTY stands with torch held high. She faces the Atlantic Ocean and the old countries beyond, with her back turned toward the country she honors. She holds high the hope of liberty, not just to the United States, but to the entire world.
In 1986 the Statue of Liberty was refurbished. When President Reagan relit the torch of Liberty on July 3, 1986, massed choirs sang the words of Emma Lazarusí tribute to our nation and the statue standing before our nationís open door:

....ďGive me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!Ē

In The Gospel and the American Dream, historian Bruce Shelley wrote, ďIn one hand Liberty holds the torch of freedom and in the other the tablet of law. The torch challenges the forces of darkness and tyranny. The tablet of law reminds us that liberty degenerating into license is but another form of slavery. True freedom for others is only possible in a community of civic virtue.Ē
Freedom to truly live comes only through proper self-control is the message of the Ten Commandments. God brought a despised group of people out of bondage. They would not experience true liberty however, by merely trading one form of bondage for another. Deliverance from Egyptís tyranny could easily be replaced by servitude to self and personal passions.
God is no cosmic killjoy. His Ten Commandments were not given to limit and destroy the freedom of His people. The purpose of Godís law is deliverance not domination. Obedience does not subjugate; it saves and delivers! The Ten Commandments are Godís ďSTATUTES OF LIBERTY.Ē

I. THE SECOND WORD or the prohibition against creating your own God, (4).

After God declares that He is the only true God, He commands that He alone should be worshiped and then defines what worship is. In verse 4 God prohibits making idol or idolizing anything He has created anywhere, or anything that man or demon can imagine or visualize. ďYou shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.

Our worship must be governed by the power of faith. Not by the power of images or imaginations. The worship of God was to be spiritual, not material. So Israel was forbidden from worshiping idols and also from making images of God.
[Idol is pesel, ďcarved wood or stone,Ē from p‚sal, ďto carve.Ē ďCast idolsĒ made from molten metal were forbidden too (34:17).] Since God is spiritual no material representation can possibly resemble Him. To make an idol of God like something in the sky (sun, moon, stars), or on the earth (animals),
Joanne Hillman
February 4, 2016
,Excellent sermon! It helped me identify my error in "imagining" God, other than as He revealed Himself in Christ Jesus. Too often we try to make God fit our image, rather than allowing Him to remake us into His. Thank you!
Dennis Davidson of Open
February 8, 2016
Thank you for your words of encouragement!
Herb Goetz
November 12, 2013
You had better check up on the story of Max Jukes. There is not much truth in what you said, at least it can't be proven.
You can find this illustration-story in Courson, Jon. Courson's Application Commentary. Vol. 2. Ps-Malachi. Thomas Nelson, Inc. Nashville, TN. 2006. page # 97.