‘You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them…’ (Exodus 20:4,5)
Over the years many have struggled to see the difference between the first and second commandment and look at them both as one in the same and at first glance it can appear that way. However, if we look at the second command more closely we see that, whereas the first commandment was about who we worship – the Lord God – the second commandment is more about how we worship.
Theologians will tell you that a good example of this is found later in chapter 32 of Exodus and the story of the golden calf. Moses was up the mountain speaking with God and the people asked Aaron to make them a god that would go before them and Aaron duly obliges by making the golden calf, which the people bow down and worship. However, this new ‘god’ could not have led the people out of Egypt and deep down they must have known that, they must have known that it was the Lord that led them from their bondage. And further evidence of this is found in the fact that we are told that the festival was indeed dedicated to the Lord.
So in effect the people here were certainly breaking the second commandment, but possibly not the first because they were worshipping the Lord. They were worshipping the right God but in the wrong way – through an idol. This idol had effectively become a representation of the Lord to them. The question for us today is how do we worship God? Do we come to Him through His Word, the living Word, Jesus Christ and by his Spirit; that is the only way that we should be coming to worship the Lord. Or do we allow some of those other gods and idols we thought of before to become some form of representation of the Lord to us?
Lord, You are the one and only true God and through Your Son and by Your Spirit You make Yourself known to us. Help us to worship You as we should, in joyful praise and adoration giving You the glory and honour that You and only You deserve. And all this we ask in Jesus name. Amen.
Question Of The Day: Who were the two sons of Zebedee chosen to be Disciples?