Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Second Commandment

The second commandment:

You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to thousands who love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:4-6 (NIV)

This should be clear, but it is not clear to many people. The command has several parts.

1. You shall not make
2. You shall not bow
3. God is jealous and punishes four generations
4. God is jealous and shows love to a thousand generations

Does the command not to “make for yourself an idol” (icon, image) include art forms like Michaelangelo’s David?

No! But it does include statues of Zeus, Buddha, Hindu deities, Diana, Athena, fetishes, amulets, charms, etc.

Does it include pictures of Jesus, crosses, and crucifixes?

Yes, in many instances.

When would it not?

If the picture was made to teach a truth for people who cannot read. The picture or pictures could tell a story like “the feeding of the five thousand” or “Jesus healing Bartimaeus.” If the picture is used in home or church as a place of reverence or worship then it should not be made. This leads us to the second part of the command, You shall not bow down to them and worship them.

Questions? You can contact me by calling (208) 883-0997 or by sending an email to ccm@moscow.com. Our web address is http://ccmbooks.org.

(Taken from Good News/Bad News)

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