Summary: Sermon on the second commandment
The second commandment is all about having a cheating heart. Last we looked at the first commandment. In that commandment God makes it clear that we are to have NO OTHER GODS! Having other gods is cheating and disobeying the first law of God. I would remind you that Jesus came at this commandment from a different approach altogether when asked which commandment was greatest.
He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul.”
"Do not make idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds or animals or fish. 5You must never worship or bow down to them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god! I do not leave unpunished the sins of those who hate me, but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations. 6But I lavish my love on those who love me and obey my commands, even for a thousand generations. Exodus 20:4-6
1. A Rule to live by. Verse 4 This commandment touches our everyday activities, relationships and commitments.
"Do not make idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds or animals or fish. 5You must never worship or bow down to them...”
God gave the Jews a very direct command here. He knew their propensity for following false gods.
Talk about Israel and their lust for other people’s gods and make the point that we have a tendency to do the same in today’s world.
2. A Rationale to learn from. Verse 5 God makes it very clear that there is a one way to live and it is His way. Not doing it has some definite consequences.
“...for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god! I do not leave unpunished the sins of those who hate me, but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations.”
I will talk about consequences for not obeying the commandment at the end of the sermon. Understand that this is a principle which God is trying to help us understand. It is really a statement about influence.
Your actions today as a parent, grandparent, and sibling or even as an individual on others is far more reaching than most of us believe or like to think about.
If you are not living consistently for God or you are just living for yourself you are influencing others to do the same. Your kids are going to turn out just like you.
3. A Reward to look for. Verse 6 All God wants is our love, devotion and worship and He will love us back when we focus on Him.
“But I lavish my love on those who love me and obey my commands, even for a thousand generations.”
This is a beautiful contrast to the way God is often portrayed. I can feel the love of God as He dictated these words to Moses.
Now I want to shift gears and look at how this practically affects our lives. Things we give our lives to:
Lifestyles of the rich and famous
Rock stars, movie stars, sports heroes, teen idols have worshipers who bow down before them. There’s a funny commercial out that points to a larger truth. In the commercial several guys are getting dressed in the locker room when Michael Jordan walks in. He pulls out some underwear from his gym bag, puts it on the bench, and all the guys stare. In unison their eyes focus on his red underwear and then back to their own white briefs. (No one ever asks why Jordan’s pulling out underwear in the first place. You’re not going to put clean underwear on before you go workout.) Cut to the next scene sometime later. All the guys are getting dressed and each one has on new red Hanes underwear briefs. Jordan walks in again, but this time pulls out polka dotted underwear. The guys are shocked and all looking at one another like what are we going to do now?
The commercial was about emulation. They wanted to be like Mike. There’s nothing wrong with liking what someone wears or their hairstyle and trying it for yourself. But that’s not emulation. Emulation is when you copy another person and try to be that person. Children, teens and adults often follow this practice. Why? They want what that other person has. They want the respect or the admiration or the sex appeal or the power or the money. There are probably dozens of reasons. They copy the behavior of the people who appear successful with the hope that their life will get better. It’s an attempt to make life more manageable by copying another person. The star has a god-like status. The emulation is the worship.