Memorize Scripture: Exodus 20:4

“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.”

–Exodus 20:4

In our current context how do we form images?  To understand this passage I believe we need to look at one of if not the most directly quoted passage in scripture, Habakkuk 2:4 which is then quoted three times in the New Testament, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38, “The righteous (just) shall live by faith.”  The reason the Israelites “made” idols for worship is because the way God was revealing Himself or not revealing Himself to them wasn’t good enough according to their own perspective.  They couldn’t see Him, They couldn’t hear Him.  He took too long to send Moses back down the mountain. So they reasoned to themselves that they should make something that would encourage them, that would make them “feel” better.  To “feel” more secure.  As you read scripture we see over and over again that many times the people still believed in YHWH (Yahweh) even as they made images.  Idols weren’t always a sign of unbelief, rather idols were a sign of no faith, no faith in what God was doing.  No faith that God would deliver.  No faith that God would protect.  No faith that God would provide. No faith that God heard them.  However more often than not, they still believed!  Well aren’t faith and belief the same thing?  No, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” (James 2:19) Where Satan and the demons fail is not in their unbelief in the ONE God, they fail in their lack of faith in God. Idol worship continues in our current setting not because of a lack of belief in God, but because of a lack of faith in God and more specifically lack of faith in worship of God as we will see tomorrow.  We create idols even if we “make” nothing physical, when we believe in God but fail to “live by faith” in God and therefore try to figure things out and do things our own way.  Every time you or I try to overcome sin on our own we are making an idol.  Every time we try to overcome a conflict in our own life apart from God we are making an idol.  Every time we worry about how we are going to pay for something or we fail to give to God, because we then can’t pay our bills or go on that vacation, we are making an idol.  Idols are not about unbelief they are about a lack of faith and scripture tells us, “And without faith it is impossible to please God..” (Hebrews 11:6). 

So as we memorize this text let us think about the idols we’ve made and humbly ask God to tear them down by teaching us how to “live by faith.”


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