Summary: We are living in a confusing time in our culture. In such a time we need absolutes. I believe that the Ten Commandments can provide the absolutes that we need.
"Timeless Truths For Troubled Times"
Don’t Make God Small"Exodus 20:4-6
by Tom Dooley
Just a couple of nights ago I was watching a news discussion program. Their conversation turned
to morals in America. I thought it was interesting that three out of the four involved in the debate
expressed the view that it was very narrow minded to believe that there was such a thing as right
or wrong. They said that nothing was black and white.
I’m sure however if anyone of them had returned to their car in the parking only to discover that
someone had stripped it of its tires and wheels, I would only assume that they would call the
police because, they had been wronged.
My parents were down for a visit yesterday, and my mother told me something she had heard a
TV preacher say. She said that the boys in our culture are so confused, that they are wearing
their pants at half mast! (ref...fad in America, boys wearing their pants pulled way down below
Yes I would concur. We are living in a confusing time in our culture. In such a time we need
absolutes. I believe that the Ten Commandments can provide the absolutes that we need.
If we will let them, the Ten Commandments can serve...
1) As a Compass... giving us direction through the moral maze of our society.
2) As a Thermometer.... a spiritual thermometer measuring the intensity of our love for the Lord
3) As a Mirror.... The Word of God is like a mirror. we can look into it and see ourselves as we
are. Sinners in need of a Savior.
Today we are going to study the second of the Ten Commandments. As we begin, let’s
understand...I. WHAT IS PROHIBITED (v. 4-5a)
Perhaps at the outset we need to clarify the difference between this commandment and the first.
Thought they both address the sin of idolatry, they are not the same.
Thomas Watson, a puritan preacher of the 17th century explains the difference clearly.
"In the 1st commandment the worshipping of a false God is forbidden. In the 2nd
commandment, worshipping the true God I a false way is forbidden."
This command clearly denounces idolatry. More specifically it prohibits the making of an idol that
is designed to represent God.
What is ironic is that while Moses was on Mt. Sinai receiving this command, Israel was in the
valley below shattering it to bits.
Look with me at the account as recorded in Exodus 32:1-6. God is not amused at their idolatry.
God is jealous. Not jealous in the the sense of a petty , immature, emotional response. Godly
jealously could be defined as zealous love.
So we see What is Prohibited. The making of and worshipping of an idol that is to represent God.
Secondly, as we seek to understand this commandment, I think we need to see...
II. THE PRINCIPLE BEHIND THE COMMAND
The second commandment reveals one of man’s most alarming tendencies.
The tendency of man to make God’s of his own choosing.
We are tempted to make God into the being that we want Him to be.
The problem with making an idol that is supposed to represent God is threefold.
First you cannot make an idol of God without ....1. REDEFINING GOD
When Israel made the golden calf, they were redefining God. They attempted to make God in
their created image.Secondly you cannot make an idol of God without...
2. REDUCING GOD
Several years ago there was a popular movie called, "Honey I Shrunk The Kids". The whole plot
of movie revolved around a "mad scientist" father who invented a machine that would shrink
things. And of course his children and the neighbors children accidentally got shrunk, and ended
up in quite an adventure.Idolatry of this sort shrinks God.
Thirdly, making an idol of God, not only leads to Redefining God, and Reducing God, but it will
ultimately result in...3. REJECTING GOD
In Israel’s history they certainly traveled this path. They redefined and reduced God with their
idols, and eventually they would reject God altogether.(APPLICATION)
Though we may not physically form an idol of God out of wood, stone, or glass, I believe that
this commandment is one of the most violated in our culture and in our churches.
We are guilty of Refining God, Reducing God, and Rejecting God in our minds and in our hearts!
Let me ask you a question. How is it that this morning in churches in America there are
homosexuals filling pulpits?
Why is it that abortion continues to thrive? Our president can tote his Bible to church on Sunday
(of course the TV crews get a shot of that), and he can veto the partial birth abortion ban on