Review: No Other god’s - Who God Is.
Do not worship false gods.
Do not worship false gods.
The Second Commandment…
A controversy (though very slight) exists over the numbering on the first 2 Commandments.
Our (Evangelical/Reformed) numbering...
Do no worship false gods.
Do not worship God falsely.
there is a very clear distinction between what we call the First Commandment and the Second Commandment.
The first commands us to worship only the one true God, and the second commands us to worship Him as He would be worshiped.
We are natural-born idolaters, and it is good that we admit this up front.
Why are fallen sinful human beings born idolaters?
The reason is simple—we must worship, we will worship.
Even as nature abhors a vacuum, so does the human soul.
The human soul will find an object of worship, either on the shelf, on the altar, in the mirror, or in heaven.
We are born idolaters.
We are “makers”.
We take delight in what we make.
We are tempted to worship that which we make - to one degree or another.
What is the difference between “Image” and “Likeness”?
Idols are Dangerous because they reveal our theology.
Wrong worship = wrong god.
Even if you call Him by the right name.
“God is defined in the act of worship far more precisely than he is defined by any theology.”
-Roger Scruton (British philosopher)
Every idol not only falls short of the reality of the true God, it lies about Him.
The Lies Idols Tell
IDOLS IMPLY FINITUDE
An Idol is a thing - it is limited.
God is not.
God does not invite us to gaze on Him as a thing, but rather to listen to His voice.
Yahweh provides no likeness of Himself.
He has spoken, He has revealed Himself, and He has defined Himself by perfections.
He is “immortal, invisible, God only wise, in light inaccessible, hid from our eyes.”
This is why the “omni” attributes—omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient, etc.—and all the other characteristics of God revealed in Scripture are so vital to us, because every single one of them points to the infinitude of God’s perfection.
He not only knows, He knows all things.
He is not only powerful, He is all-powerful.
He is not only holy, He is infinitely holy.
He is not only merciful, He is infinitely merciful.
He is not only just, He is infinitely just.
And the very “thingness” of the idol betrays its finitude.
IDOLS IMPLY FABRICATION
Idols are made… by some human agent.
But God is not a fabricated deity.
There is no assembly required—there is no assembly possible!
Idolatry is absolutely delusional.
This is why again and again in Scripture, the one true and living God will say, “I made you!
You did not make Me!
And I made you in My image.
You can’t make an image of Me.”
This reveals a great delusion.
This man grew the tree, and then cut it down.
With half the tree, he did that which makes sense—he made a fire.
He warmed himself and baked bread and cooked meat.
But in his self-delusion, he then carved out of the other half an idol and said, “You are my god!”
Idols Imply Control
We, ultimately, control our idols (pick it up, display it… etc)
The god we can control is no god at all.
“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion."
"Ooh" said Susan.
"I'd thought he was a man.
Is he-quite safe?
I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion"..."Safe?" said Mr Beaver ..."Who said anything about safe?
'Course he isn't safe.
But he's good.
He's the King, I tell you.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
IDOLS IMPLY NEED
Most of religious service toward idols is related to their need.
In contrast, our liturgy, service, and devotion—our reasonable service and our spiritual worship—is to be as a living sacrifice (), by the mercy of Christ.
We do not bring animal sacrifices; we bring ourselves.
Paul spoke to the idolatrous Athenians on this very subject, contrasting the living God with the lifeless idols.
He said: “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though He needed anything” ().
We are not here because God needs us or our worship—for He needs nothing.
When He glorifies Himself with His people, He does so not out of need, but from the natural outworking of His own glory.
The God of the Bible is a jealous God.
He is jealous for His own name and jealous for His own character and jealous for His own glory.
After all, who made whom?
And who needs whom?
Paul said to the Athenians, “Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man” ().