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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Second Commandment - Idolatrous Imaginations

July 11

(Exodus 20:4-6 NIV) "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. {5} You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, {6} but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments."

(2 Kings 17:15-16 NIV) "They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their fathers and the warnings he had given them. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless. They imitated the nations around them although the Lord had ordered them, "Do not do as they do," and they did the things the Lord had forbidden them to do. {16} They forsook all the commands of the Lord their God and made for themselves two idols cast in the shape of calves, and an Asherah pole. They bowed down to all the starry hosts, and they worshiped Baal."

(Romans 1:22-23 NIV) "Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools {23} and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles."

The First Commandment forbids idolatry in principle. The Second Commandment forbids idolatry in practice. The root word for imagine is “image”. When we begin to construct images of God, our imaginations will always betray us, because God’s form is unimaginable. The God of Scripture cannot be properly pictured, produced, or packaged, because our human tendency is always to scale God down, making Him more like us. Our images and idols will usually look like us or something lower than us, allowing us to manage them, rather than be managed by them. We all struggle with this Second Commandment. We may never build a golden calf, but we all have these idolatrous imaginations that can stand between us and the true God. We must rid our life of them, and worship only the God of Scripture. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

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