Summary: A sermon on the second of the Ten Commandments, No Idols or no graven images

No Graven Images

Exodus 20:4-6

Evening Service for 1/26/03


If you were to draw a picture of God, what would you draw? Would this display everything about God? What would be missing from your picture?

What would you think if I took that same picture and bowed down and worshipped it?


A. In Manila, Philippines they build god-houses that line the roadway. Sometimes behind these god houses are people’s homes that are poor and often wretched, but the god-houses are full of wealth and workmanship. Japan is much the same way.

B. In South America, along the highways they have set up monuments where people have driven off of a cliff to their death. Many times people will pray to these departed spirits. Very elaborate monuments.

C. In Bible times, people would set carve an image and make an idol and worship it as a god.

D. In Athens, Corinth and other major cities that the Apostle Paul visited, one is struck by the elaborate attention that generations past have poured out on their idols and nonexistent gods.

E. Isaiah 44:13-20- Isaiah is sarcastic about how they make idols.

F. Why did they do this? Mankind must worship something. God has made man with an instinct to seek Him, a craving for the divine.

G. (Rom 1:21 NIV) For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Rom 1:22 NIV) Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools (Rom 1:23 NIV) and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. (Rom 1:24 NIV) Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. (Rom 1:25 NIV) They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.

H. People do not like the image that the Bible paints of God so they exchanged the Biblical picture for another one that they liked. One that they could see and understand, one that allowed them to satisfy their sins.

I. First two of the Ten Commandments. The first commandment tells us that we are to have no other gods besides Jehovah; the second commandment tells us we are not to make any image. The first commandment tells us who must be worshipped; the second commandment tells us how He must be worshipped. The first commandment forbids all false gods. The second commandment forbids all false worship.

J. Man will worship the true God in the right way, or he will worship the true God in the wrong way, or he will worship a false god.

Thesis: In order to keep this commandment we must have…

For instances:

I. A Proper Conception of God

A. The reason that God forbids graven images is because they misrepresent Him. No one picture captures God.

B. (John 4:24 NIV) God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

C. A little girl was drawing a picture of God. Someone said, “Honey, you cannot do that. No one knows what God looks like.” She said, “They will when I get finished.”

D. (Isa 40:25 NIV) "To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One.

E. Images or idols are bad pictures of God. No one likes a bad picture of himself. My family and pictures.

F. What is wrong with an image? It misrepresents God! It degrades God. It distorts our image of God.

G. Another reason for this command is that when someone worships an image he is worshipping the work of his own hands. It is a form of self-worship. Image worship humanizes God and makes man his own God!

H. People in Bible times simply would take a desire and make an idol and fulfill that desire while worshipping a “god.”

1. Apollo- God of youth- many people do everything within their power to stay youthful.

2. Mars- God of war- many people love violence and conflict; keep a constant state of war, state of conquest.

3. Bacchus- God of wine- The party time god.

4. Diana- Goddess of hunting- Many times people let their personal hobbies keep them away from God. No time for church but plenty of time for hobbies. They are worshipping Diana.

5. Venus- the Goddess of love- Our society worships this god daily. Virginity is ridiculed! Pornography, women chasing (locker room talks), bar hopping, make my body sexy.

6. Goddess of home- Vesta- Many people let family members keep them away from God. (Luke 14:26 NIV) "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple.

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