Exodus 20:4-6: The Second Command
Let’s take a moment and pray gracious, Heavenly Father, I ask this morning, that you would please open our eyes as we look at the commandments, draw our attention to who you are and your goodness and your power, I pray that you would challenge us, and change us, Father.
Forgive us for any trespasses. Help us to have a forgiving and gracious attitude toward those around us, and I pray that Jesus Christ would be lifted high, so we ask him, pray this in your precious name.
Well, we’re changing the order service around a little bit today. You might have noticed it. And this is for two reasons: One reason is simply because the songs that we picked are gonna go so well, with the end of this sermon.
So we’ll get there in a few minutes.
But the other reason is because one of the suggestions that I’ve read is, have you seen at the end of the service, if you would like? And that way you’re not sitting in the aerosol of any terms that you may be carrying of this room for an hour after we’ve sung. So you can choose to get going afterwards if you want, but will sing praises at the end of the sermon, here today to celebrate some of the truths for learning.
I have a picture I think Isaac’s gonna pull it up behind me.
It’s a picture of… Do you know what this is, what is it… Where is it from the Sistine Chapel that’s correct, this is a beautiful painting in the Sistine Chapel, as just filled literally floor to ceiling, this is they’re all over the ceiling too. Of picture after picture of the biblical narrative believers and unbelievers alike, for centuries have said that these pictures in the Sistine Chapel, are some of the best pictures, best portraits best paintings of the biblical narrative. And it took years to accomplish. Do you know who did it?
Yeah, now you share. It was Michael Angelo.
Okay, is one of the teenage men, in eternals? I can’t ever remember which one but… Yeah, and he literally lay on his back on scaffolding for years to accomplish these paintings.
One person I read recently said Nothing has done more damage to Humanities view of God in the Sistine Chapel.
They then went on to say it breaks the second commandment the picture you see behind is of God, the gray-haired God reaching down to touch the finger of mankind. Adam your big idea for our sermon today, is that you should devote yourself to Jesus and not crafted, Gods, you can take that picture down devote yourself to Jesus and not to craft it God. And I have a question for you, and maybe I’m the only one who’s ever asked a question like, this, but why is it a worship bat?
You ever wondered that… You ever struggle with the idea of idol worship? We don’t have a lot of idol worship, in our culture today. Not like the ancient had… It may be silly to us. I do worship, might be silly, but how did it become a thing in history? Number one, why is it a thing that is prohibited by one of the 10 commandments? Number two, and why is this thing, one of the primary sources of tension in all of the biblical story idolatry, you ever wondered those questions? You ever struggle to understand ancient idolatry and why it was so bad in the first commandment makes sense, right? No other gods, you should worship God only makes sense do not murder, makes sense.
I don’t want people going around murdering that makes sense to me, but this idea of crafting an idol that one doesn’t make as much sense to my mind, why is that such a big deal? And I think that the reason is I’ve meditated this this week, there are actually three reasons I… Idolatry is so bad.
And we’re gonna go through those three reasons in the sermon today. The first reason is its approach. The second reason is it’s loyalty, and the third reason is, it’s misrepresentation, and we’re gonna go through each one of those. Okay, so you can write them down if you want. But the approach, the way that the people would approach, idols that pagans that he then that people from the nations would approach idols is not an appropriate way to approach God. That’s number one, number two I do. The tree always meant I don’t work like a pagan worship of other gods, always, which would be breaking the first commandment. You shall have no other gods right?
And number three, any idol, ultimately is just a mis-representation of God, God is spirit, right?
How can you represent God?
Were they with a bird or a fish?
No, instead of approaching away like a pagan god being disloyal to Yale by worshipping other gods are misrepresenting the glory and the power of Yahweh we should love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and might remember we talk, yes, last week about how that’s the positive summary of all of these negative statements by negative I mean, so had it on S, don’t do this.
Well, what should you do? The answer is love God with all your heart.
So the verses that we’re looking at today, our Ephesians Chapter 2, or Exodus Chapter 20, and verses four through six, “You shall not make for yourself a carved image or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on Earth beneath, or that is in the water, under the earth.
You shall not bow down to them or serve them for I, the Lord your God, and the jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children. To the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous Scott, if you read that verse I just wanna bring one interpretive issue out real quick.
And then we’ll get on with our sermon. It says visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and that has oftentimes made people struggle ’cause they’re like, “Well so you’re gonna punish the children for the Father’s sins and actually that’s prohibited elsewhere in the law, so that’s not what God’s doing here it’s on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me.
Okay, what is the characteristic of the third and fourth generation? They hate God. So in other words, the father passes down a tradition of disobeying God’s commandments being disloyal to him, and even hating him becomes a father and does the same thing, the sun becomes the father does the same thing, third and fourth generation, all of them hate God, and God will visit sins on each one of the generations. That’s what this is saying. It can be a little confusing ’cause of the language, but that’s what it’s getting at, here.
So why is idolatry, wicked number one, idolatry is wicked because of its approach because of its approach idol crafting is sin because it approaches God wickedly idol worship is a way to make a God indebted to you to make a God do what you want with this little… Effort on your part as possible.
You make an idol you can sacrifice to the idol, and then the God of the idol must bless you, that’s all there is to it that’s pagan idol worship.
So I have a few questions, some of this information might be helpful to you. How was an idle made back then?
Well, we don’t have a lot of documentation about how idols were made in Israel, but there is a neighboring country that we actually have a lot of ancient historical record about how idols were what made and it’s fascinating they would actually, they struggled with the idea of a person crafting an idol that a God would I have it.
And so, they went through ritual, after ritual after a ritual to try to separate that out and say, that they did not crack the idol, they did something called a mouth washing. How many of you wash your mouth how many of you got your mouth washed out?
Yeah, you know I am talking about… So they did a mouth washing with the idol after it was crafted they would actually wash and rinse out the idols mouth seven times, and they did it in various locations in the temple, they did it down by a river, and they did these washing is a way to purify it so that the idol could enter it and then eat food that was offered to it all the while. They did amazing things with the craftsmen, the priest would stand there. This is one of the accounts that we have.
The priest would stand there next to the craftsman who had his arms out and the priest would have like a toy wooden sword, and the priest would act like he was cutting off the hands of the craftsmen all the while. The craftsman is saying My hands did not make this idol, my hands did not make this idol. That was a way for them to say it wasn’t the craftsman ultimately it was a God that was making Dacia then they took the Craftsman tools they stuck it in the leg of a well-a dismembered leg of a lamb or a ram they stuck the crafts and tools in it, and they threw the whole thing into the river as a sacrifice to the God of the River who they say was ultimately, the one who crafted the idle.
These are the things that go through all these steps as a way to deal with this inconsistency that they had in their mind that a human made this idol that now we’re gonna bow down and worship.
The pagan approach was an effort through human hands, to make an idol that they could worship on their own terms. Unfortunately, throughout the biblical narrative, you have story after story after story of God’s people approaching Yahweh, the same exact way. If I only sacrifice, if I go through the rituals if I observe the fee stays then God will bless me, and then I can live however I want the rest of the time I just have to do the minimum. I have to pay my due to the Gods or in this case the God and if I do that, then God will bless me, and he’ll give me big crops, and he’ll give safety to us and over it over again in the Bible, and in Isaias. I’ve been studying it that view of approaching God in that way. It’s just ripped apart.
You see, here’s the truth, this is a quote by Timothy Keller.
Religious people find God useful Christians find God beautiful religious people are only in it for what they can get out of it, but a true believer they’re not in it for what they can get out of it, they’re in it because they love God, that’s why they go through those rituals in the Old Testament, that’s why they go through all of those ceremonies in the Old Testament, it’s what they were supposed to be there for, because they loved God, not for what they could get out of it.
So the pagan approach was really three main things. Number one, I can do anything I want as long as I’m doing these religious things I can live however I want.
So it doesn’t matter if I am cheating my neighbor, it doesn’t matter if I’m pressing the poor and the needy, which these are the main sins that are called out in the Old Testament. I think because of that, it’s their main sins that we should be wary of as well.
These are the main sense. It doesn’t matter if I do those things as long as I’m going through the rituals today it’s pretty easy to parallel. As long as I go to church, it doesn’t matter how I live the rest of the week, I do write one day, the other six days don’t matter if I’m in church, it doesn’t matter if I’m a dishonest business man doesn’t matter if I’m cheating on my taxes, it doesn’t matter if I’m being rude to my neighbors, it as long as I’m going through the right motions religiously, that is a pagan idolatrous way to approach God.
The second way this approach is sinful is that the pagan approach melded the worship of a higher power, with my desires for them to really serve this higher power, the higher power had to in some way, support what their desires were… So God is good with me. I’ve gone through all the steps, but God is good with me cheating on my wife because I know that just God wants me to be happy. I’ve heard that one before God wants me to be happy, so God is good with me, he actually endorses the sin that I do, and you’re melding a pagan worship idea in with what true worship to God is in the Old Testament, pagan the pagan approach to God. And it became a way that people tried to worship, even Yale was under the Astro pulse.
You’ve heard of Astro you’ve heard of Ishtar maybe you’ve heard of some of these gods all of them are relatively the same, they’re the gods of fertility in this ancient idolatrous culture and to honor and serve and worship the Gods of fertility in this ancient culture. You would go into a temple, prostitute you’d have sex for the temple prostitute. And if you did that, then it would guarantee that your crops would be fertile this year.
This was very prevalent in Roman times. The Roman church struggled under this rightly.
It’s the reason why. So much of the New Testament is dedicated to sexual purity. The reason is because sexual impurity was rampant throughout that culture in our life. Today, we don’t see much different. Then the higher power that you’re supposed to serve today is what be true to what?
And if you’re true to yourself, then you’re ultimately serving God and the people often times I find a way to marry either Christianity or a general form of belief in God with being true to yourself and all that is is getting a God that fits your desires, it’s all that is the third way that the pagan approach to worshiping God in that way, with idolatry is so wicked is because it’s an attempt to just be like the world and you see this over and over again.
Everyone else is doing it.
So I do a try it.
The ancient mindset of having many gods various powers controlling various aspects of your life.
They were used to it.
And so, for God to say, No idols is for God to say, you’re going to be completely different than anyone else in this culture, in the culture in which you live, and over and over again when Israelites broke that it was an attempt to compromise to be a little bit like the world to be comfortable, whatever.
So, this idea of being like the world, it’s a real danger, a real and present danger but honestly, that’s really not that different than what we look at today.
Over and over again. You have the majority populist that have created a religion in America, probably 75% of people in America believe a version of a made up God in their head, a God that includes a little bit of Jesus, a little bit of the promises from the Old Testament and a lot of whatever I want.
And if you hold anything else you’re different to your odd and you’re honestly maligned often.
So there’s always this pull there’s ever this temptation pulling at you to say, well, it’s not that big of deal you can still call yourself a Christian and be a homosexual.
There’s always this poll you can still call yourself a Christian and say that Muslims will go to heaven as well. There’s always this pull to compromise and synchronize and bring things together and that mindset is the core of what I do a tree is, it’s the core of what breaking this commandment is. You can’t do it.
Can you see the attraction of idolatry?
Let me see, this is from Kevin de Young, a quote from him.
I want a spirituality that gets me lots cost me little is easy to see, is easy to do as few ethical or doctrinal boundaries guarantees me Success feels good and doesn’t offend those around me.
That sound familiar.
We want a faith, we want the same things they want today, we just go about them in different ways. We want a faith that gets us stuff and guarantee success. What’s that called, the prosperity gospel, but just pray the right way and believe enough God guarantees me success and if he hasn’t given it to me, it’s because I haven’t believed the right way, that’s a fun it’s like treat in God, like an idol that if you do the right incantation He’ll bless you automatically come on.
We want a faith, a discipleship that is convenient, we want a religion that is ritualistic. As long as I show up to church it’s fine because I went through the ritual of going to church. It’s nominal Christianity. We want a spirituality that encourages sexual expression, so the LGBTQ movement we all want to follow God in a way that makes sense to others feels good to us, and it’s easy to see and understand that’s idolatry is the core, it’s the heart of what I do at Tree is we’re only on 01. the approach of idolatry is all wrong. You can’t approach God, like people would normally approach their idols or false gods, you can’t do it.
The second point is that idol crafting is a sin because it’s ultimately disloyalty, it devotes itself to other gods. You shall have no idols is another way of saying no other gods. Creating idols, was the common way of worshipping other gods in this culture. The second commandment is ultimately a clarification of the first, this is actually the majority view through the last 34 centuries of Biblical interpretation stretching back past the time of Jesus.
Okay, the majority view says that the first commandment and the second Commandment are actually saying the same thing, the second command. It just explains it further, it’s a view that was held by Jews by orthodox it’s not a view that was held a lot, by Protestant Christians, although Martin Luther kinda toyed with it a little bit during the ROH time of the Reformation. The truth is, except for maybe two accounts in the Bible, there is no record of the Israelites ever attempting worship to worship God, worship Yahweh with idols that tells you something, it tells you that the command itself is probably not a command. Hey, don’t try to make an idol of Yale, but more of a command. Hey, don’t worship other gods.
Now, the only two accounts that that might not be true, it depends on your translation of two key passages. One is gonna be in Exodus we’re gonna get there and whenever we get there, I don’t know, three months Exodus when they make the golden calf what does air and say, “Do you know what does he say to the crowd?
These B thy Gods, that’s interesting. So that’s the KJV translation, and that’s many of the translations, but it’s actually… It could also be translated. This is your God.
Because remember, Ellen, can be plural, can be plural, in number, but can also be a plural of majesty and honor and so it could be… Aaron is saying, “Hey look, this is your God. And what does he say right after that?
Who brought you up out of the land of Egypt?
So literally at the foot of the mountain, the people are terrified as they look up at the mountain and lightning and fire is happening and all of this stuff and they can’t deal with it. So the possible interpretation is that, they say I can’t deal with that picture of God, so I’m gonna make my own… That’s a possible interpretation. The second passage is actually in a mirror, passage after the original kingdom split, and I think it’s Jeroboam, if I remember correctly, who makes two golden caps, so that the Israelites will no longer go to Jerusalem they’ll go other places, to sure does at as out of expediency.
So in other words, this is probably has more to do not have idols, has more to do with it at making sure you’re loyal to the One and True, God than anything else.
This is probably what Jesus had in mind when He says, “You cannot serve God and money, for either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other, you can’t have idols and God in your life as John Calvin said, the heart of man is a perpetual factory of idols and Martin Luther says, whatever your heart clings to and relies upon that is your idol trust and faith of the heart, make both God and idol. Fascinating phrase. So in other words, give us the chance, give us the chance in our life and we will replace God with every object. A person I deal or dream and it will become Supreme and it will be the thing we place our trust and our security and our joy in and that thing becomes to us, an idol.
So here are a few small points just to crystallize this and help us see this a little more. It’s a devotional by JD Greer, that I found and JD Greer got all this information from Timothy Keller, and Timothy Keller. Got it from a bunch of other people. So, these ideas have been around for a while, Okay, number one: An idol is anything that promises a life of security and joy apart from God.
An idol was anything that promise is a life of security and joy apart from God and that that false hope there.
It promises it but it can never deliver it that false hope right there. That’s what makes an idol, an idol idols are not normally bad things idols are normally good things that have become ultimate things, they’re good things that you believe guarantee you joy and security, what is that for you, what is that in your life about what do you think today, right now? As long as I have this I’ll be happy.
What do you, so desperately need that? You can’t imagine a fulfilled life without it.
Is it comfort is it leisure is it money, is it that next rung on the ladder? Is it a marriage is it kids? What is it that you have stuck in your life, that if I only got that that would guarantee me life and success. I got disappointing news for you. The grass isn’t as greener as you think, on the other side, there was a… Nothing as sad as the moment that you get the thing when you get that thing that your heart longed for and desired for years, and you found that it disappointed you.
Some of you have experienced that some of you have experienced that with marriage for years, you were alone, you’re looking forward to being married. You thought If I just finally got that I would find joy in security. And your marriage was almost crumbling under the weight of you thinking that your spouse could be like a God to you.
Houses make terrible guys or you finally get to that next position in your job and you get a little bit more money and all that you found is that you actually had a hunger for the next position and a little bit more money, you finally get that bigger house and you’re already planning about how you wanna do an addition, or you wanna buy another house you see that it’s this longing and idols can never deliver you. That’s what’s so pathetic about them, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
What makes these idols so dangerous? Is that they are always, almost always good things, but they’re good things that I’ve become ultimate things. Another point about idols is that they engage the deepest emotions in our hearts, when idols are challenged people get violent.
You ever experienced that?
I’ll give you an example, it’s a really good example. So many of you have kids here, those kids like TV or video games a lot what happens when they get grounded and those things get taken away has that ever happened where they throw a rage violent fit, they can’t go out, be with their friends, they can’t go to the movies. And that thing to them became so important that when it was taken away when it was challenged they become violent. Listen, it’s not just kids that do that.
That’s right, it’s grown-ups, that do that too.
What happens in our life when something we love is threatened because many of our deepest emotions are connected to idols and this is why it’s so dangerous to be a pastor, ’cause my job as a pastor is to challenge your possible idols and guess where that puts me right in the cross hairs.
So don’t get angry at me if I step on your toes about the way you use money I step on your toes about your finances. If I step on your toes about your dreams, your goals, your ideals your leisure your comfort the way you spend your time, your dreams for your kids and what they might be able to do.
If I step on your toes about these things is because I know that those idols will ultimately fail you and you need to put your trust and faith in God instead. Another point about idols under if you commit a to idols, you devote yourself to other gods, idols. Demand sacrifices to keep them happy idols will always make you sacrifice for them.
If your business is your idol then you’ll sacrifice integrity to climb the ladder of success. If acceptance is your idol you’ll sacrifice your honesty to get affirmation.
If romance is your idol you’ll walk out on your spouse as soon as the spark has gone from the relationship, the video games are your idol you’ll sacrifice your sleep, in your health. If friends are your idol, you is, often times sacrifice your principles. An idol is like fire, this fire ever say that’s enough, no it will keep burning and burning, as long as you keep feeding it, it’s never like, “Oh man, I’ve had my full… It eventually dies if you don’t feed it right.
It never says “That’s enough, it just keeps asking for more and more wood.
The altar of idolatry is terrifying insatiable it’s hungry, it won’t stop eating the more you sacrifice for an idol, the more it will demand, it will demand of your time and your energy and your emotions.
I antlers. It will deliver less it will give Joy the less it will save the less it will help, it will demand more and more and give less and less, until that leaves you an empty husk of a human. So I wanna ask you, what is that in your life, what part of yourself have you sacrificed for Idol where do you feel the pull to keep cutting corners and making excuses about your Bible reading about church, about your integrity about whatever, don’t fool yourself into thinking that this sacrifice that next sacrifice will be the last one.
It’s never enough.
The third way that idolatry as a whole is wicked to God is that it’s ultimately a misrepresentation of God idle crafting does not approach God, as He is, but as we want him to be Look at Exodus Chapter 20, verses four and five, it says “You shall not make yourself a carved image of any likeness that is in heaven above, the earth beneath are the water under the earth ever wonder why you see those three dimensions in the Word of God a lot.
Well, for the ancient mindset, those were the three dimensions. If you wanted to talk about the totality of the universe you’d say Heaven or sky, earth, and water, and if you said those things, you met everything.
So for him to say that he says, Don’t make an idol of anything in all of your life, anything in the known universe Deuteronomy Chapter 4, actually explains this a little further of why this is important. Then the Lord spoke to you out of the midst of the fire.
You heard the sound of words but you saw no form. Only a voice, and he declared to you his covenant and he commanded you to perform that is the 10 commandments and he wrote them on two tablets of stone.
Okay, interesting, he says, Therefore, watch yourselves closely carefully since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at home or sin out of the midst of the fire you were unless you act correctly by making a car, do image for yourself in the form of any figure. Like a male or female, like in the likeness of any animal that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the water, under the earth, be were less… You raise your eyes to heaven.
This is a common sense of idolatry and when you see the sun and moon and stars and all the hosts of heaven you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them things that the Lord your God has allowed to the peoples under the whole heaven. Again, this goes back to I’ve given the peoples over to the powerful evil spiritual forces. They’re there, but you are mine, you’re not to worship them.
See, they didn’t see God is what that says they heard words but they saw no form, so they should not try to make any form, no idol, could truly represent God’s glory, all carved images are ultimately gonna fail to represent God well and then bring dishonor to his name.
There was just something about you and me.
There’s something about us that tremble at the enormity of God in an uncomfortable way.
Now, we get used to some of these ideas of how big and powerful God we don’t tremble all the time, but every once in a while we’re caught just right, whether it’s at the edge of the Grand Canyon, holding a baby in your arms looking up into the night sky at the stars. And you think this is huge? And I am small, and there’s a God who made it and I just am overwhelmed with that.
Our tendency in that moment, our tendency when we know that there’s a great God who’s incomprehensible is to reduce him down to make him accessible.
Our tendency is we want to box him up. Our tendency is we want to care him we don’t wanna tremble at the foot of Sinai and fear, we would much rather creative golden calf and say This is my god we craft these idols with our hands and with our minds, and then we say, to them This is my God, but here’s what Psalm 135 says, about that, or I know that the Lord is great that our Lord is above all the gods whatever the Lord pleases, He does and having an on earth in the seas and all deep he it is who makes the clouds to rise at the end of the day who makes Lightning for the rains and brings forth the wind from His storehouses?
The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but they do not speak, they have eyes, but they do not see, they have ears, but they do not hear… Nor is there any breadth in their mouth those who make them the craftsman become like them a tenanted dead, not a life.
And so to all who trust in them, “anyone who trust in them, it’s a void of life.
Most people, including some hearing this right now, have literally made a make believe God they’ve crafted a God in their mind that they find accessible and easy for them to believe they carefully curated this God to help them in ways and in times that they want, but to be good with what they want in their life.
You can’t pick and choose what parts of God, you like you don’t get to do that you can’t imagine your own version of God.
Let’s say, for a moment, You think you can define your gender, regardless of what your physical gender is now I don’t agree with that, I don’t think the Bible agrees with that.
I think the Bible says That would be destructive and sinful before the sake of argument, if there’s somebody listening who is tempted to that viewpoint of somebody is allowed to define for themselves, who they are and I’m not allowed to challenge it. Let’s just say that that’s true, that argumentation is true, it’s not, but let’s say it is, if you say that you can define yourself and no one can question it, then surely God is allowed to define himself and no one is allowed to question that, right?
You cannot apply one rule to yourself and another to God, you do not get to define yourself and God.
If someone claimed I was a Martian little green man, they are not correct, regardless of what they think in their mind, or how deeply they believe it.
I am not a Martian.
It doesn’t matter what journey they went on to discover that I’m a Martian.
Doesn’t matter what experiences they had with me that make them think I’m a Martian.
It doesn’t matter what education they received about all the Martians in the world. They do not get to craft a version of who I am.
I am as objective regardless of what I say, it’s an objective reality that I was born on earth.
That is how it is with God, it doesn’t matter what journey you go on to discover God it doesn’t a matter what experiences you think you’ve had of God, doesn’t matter what education or books you’ve read about the religions of the world that doesn’t matter, God is objectively who he is, regardless of what you think of him.
Even if it is normal for our society to be comfortable with crafting their own view of who God might be, that doesn’t make it right, not only, I mean, if you do it, honestly, first of all, it’s a bit crazy when you think about it, right?
If you were still talking to your imaginary friend from when you were four we would think you were crazy. If you’re still talking to a God who you agree you made up in your own mind, you’ve decided that’s who he is, that’s crazy, that’s not what we say as Christians, God is not who he is because I think he’s that way to ease reveal himself to be in the word of God in creation. That’s the objective fact that we latch on to and we stand terrified in front of… And if you do make a God in your mind, it is hard and fruitless it’s hard because you have no where to start, who’s gonna tell you who God is, you’re just gonna try to discover for yourself your faith journey is gonna be a wreck, and it’s gonna be difficult and guess what, it’s ultimately gonna be fruitless, ’cause we… We’ve already looked at the reality that when you make your own God that God fails you, fails to deliver you fails to help you fails to give you joy fails to give you security making your own God is a hard and fruitless effort, it’s much better to latch on the God who is you stand at the foot of Sinai looking at immense power goodness, love, and the danger of one of the one true God, it’s yours to simply tremble without full comprehension.
That’s where you were meant to be, that’s what you are meant to do. So I want you to behold your God, the God whose presence brought thunder and lightning at Sinai, it’s that God who alone as immortality who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see it’s that one that in the beginning, created the heaven and the earth, it’s that one who’s loved surpasses knowledge, and he was able to do far more abundantly over all that we ask or think, it’s that one that we say the deaths than the riches of the wisdom and the knowledge of God. How in searchable are His judgements and how inscrutable His ways, it’s that one who says, I formed light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity.
It’s that one who says who we say before the mains were brought forth or ever you had formed the Earth and the world from everlasting to everlasting, You are God, it’s that one of whom we say, “Who has measured the waters in the hollow was hand and marked out the heavens with a span and closed the dust of the Earth and a measure and weighed the mountains and scales and the hills in the balance it’s that one of whom the angels say, in heaven, holy holy holding is the Lord God Almighty, the whole earth is full of His glory, it’s that one who laughs at the wicked for he sees his day coming.
It’s that one who we say Who is this King of Glory, the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
It’s that one of whom we say, “I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?
Therefore, what I do not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know is that one who says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty, it’s that one who predestined, and called and justified and glorified and who no one can separate us from His love, it’s that one who is a re-“warder of those who diligently seek Him.
Can you craft a god as glorious as that?
Perhaps you can imagine a God you like better, but that God will not be worthy of your worship, only a God that is not a slave to your desires is worthy of worship.
And this takes us to our fourth and surprising reason.
I said Three. He was your fourth why idolatry was so wicked?
It was wicked because its approach, it’s wicked because it’s disloyalty, it’s wicked because it mis-represents, but it’s also wicked because one day Jesus would send His own son in the exact image of His nature and nothing could compare with him.
Romans 1-23 says that people exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. That word images is the exact same word that’s used in Colossians 1, 15, The Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation.
Hebrews 1 says it like this, He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature he upholds the universe by the word of His power, and after making a purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on High exact imprint. It’s a word used as like an engraving or a mark or like a seal that you would leave. And what the picture is, that God made of an impression of himself, in this world through the human second member of the trinity that Jesus is 100% God 10-0% man, and we had beheld His Glory, and it says in Romans 8 that Those whom have been saved, delivered from their sins will be conformed to the image of His son, same word, see God sent Jesus in His image, and more than that, that’s his exact imprint in this world, He represented God perfectly, he called people away from serving the other gods, he purified our sins on the cross so that we can come to God and approach him the right way, and worship the true God, as he really is. If you turn from your idols today, whether they are handcrafted or mind-crafted and turn to the exact image of God, Jesus Christ, then you will be saved you trust in Jesus purification for your sins on the cross you look at the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ and you will be transformed as a person more and more to match the image of Jesus Christ to idols, have no glory but Jesus is full of glory, of His fullness. We have received grace upon grace.
Let’s take a moment and pray musicians can make their way up.
I just wanna give you a moment to silently consider these words Consider what idols you might have, and then I’ll pray.
My gracious Father, we love you, you are the true God and no image that we craft in our mind. That we make with our hands could ever compare to your glory and I pray that you would give your people here listening to this service just a little glimpse at a little ones, a huge clips of that glory today.
Would you save someone from their idolatry, and those believers who are still flirting with their own idols that they’ve cracked and… And had not devoted themselves fully to love you with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their hits? I pray that you would call them to do that right now as we serve in worship, you now be glorified we pray in your precious name. Amen.