Summary: the second commandment
Exodus 20 v. 1 - 6 v. 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:
1. THE COPY THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE - "Thou shalt not make" v. 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;" POEM
(a) To make an accurate image of the living God is impossible -
John 4 v. 24 "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
Romans 1 v. 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."
(1) God is infinite and cannot be represented by anything finite
(2) God is spiritual and cannot be represented by anything physical
(3) God is unlimited and cannot be represented by anything limited
(4) God is everywhere and cannot be represented by anything local
(5) God is eternal and cannot be represented by anything temporal
(b) To worship any attempted image is unlawful "Thou shalt not make, thou shalt not bow down thyself to them"
Leviticus 26 v. 1 "Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God."
Deuteronomy 16 v. 22 "Neither shalt thou set thee up any image; which the LORD thy God hateth."
Psalm 97 v. 7 "Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods." We are forbidden to:-
(1) Materialize God - Hebrews 11 v. 6 "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
(2) Localize God - Ps 139 v. 7 "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?" Jonah
(3) Characterize God - i.e. to create God in man's image - Rom 1 v. 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."
(4) Trivialize God - Isaiah 55 v. 8 & 9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
(c) To worship an image in place of God is irrational - Hebrews 3 v. 3 & 4 "For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God."
(1) A blacksmith cannot fire it up - Isaiah 44 v. 12 "The smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals, and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and his strength faileth: he drinketh no water, and is faint."
(2) A carpenter cannot nail it up - Isaiah 44 v. 13 & 14 "The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house. He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it."
(3) A cook cannot cook it up - Isaiah 44 v. 15 "Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto."
1 Kings 8 v. 27 "But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?"
2. THE CONCERN THAT'S IMPRESSIVE - v. 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;"