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As God was setting up the framework for freedom, he discussed things that affected our vertical relationship with him, and things that affected our horizontal relationship with others. The first commandment was vertical and spoke to priority—you will have no other God before me.  This second commandment was also vertical and spoke to substitution.  People prefer a physical presence to touch and see.  This God of the universe knew that given the choice, people would substitute a created thing to act as a placeholder for the creator.  God was making clear that was not acceptable. 

The journey of God’s chosen people has been a journey of faith.  He has never allowed his own to substitute the things he created as objects of worship.  Whether they worshipped the sun, or if they worshipped animals those carved images– God would never allow a substitute. 

While we may think those cultures are silly for carving up wood and rocks for their worship, in current society we have our share of substitutes. Cars, icons, celebrities and sport franchises are simply a few of the idols of today.  While they take on sleek forms and sparkle and shine; they are no different than the bulls, eagles and other statues of old.  What’s more, their very presence, allows those that worship them to trust themselves—not the unseen God for their survival, success and happiness.  We must recognize that our worship is reserved for our creator and redeemer.  We can’t waste our time and energy on anything less! 

God Bless You

 

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.