In my first two articles of this series, “To Keep the Ten Commandments or Not?” and “To Keep the Ten Commandments or Not? Pt. 2” I discussed whether or not we should keep the Ten Commandments. Then I began addressing the commandments themselves. The first commandment dealt with having no other gods before Yahweh.
In part 1 of Make No Image, the second commandment, we talked about carved images and why God was opposed to them. Today we will continue this subject with the second part of the commandment – any kind of representation. The second commandment says…
You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline. You are not to bow down to them or serve them; for I, ADONAI (YHVH) your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but displaying grace to the thousandth generation of those who love me and obey my mitzvoth (commands). Exodus 20:4-6 CJB
You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline. You are not to bow down to them or serve them; for I, ADONAI your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the parents, also the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but displaying grace to the thousandth generation of those who love me and obey my mitzvot. Deuteronomy 5:8-10 CJB
Make No Representation
God not only told us to leave carved images alone, he told us not to make ANY kind of representation of ANYTHING in heaven above, on the earth below, on in the water. Yet, we have built a culture around this very thing. We call our representations “stars,” “celebrities,” or “famous people.”
We turn around and do the opposite of what Exodus 20:4-6 tells us. We bow down and serve them. To bow down means to literally bend the body over, face lowering in submission to the person in front of us. To serve means to do their bidding.
We develop fan clubs to perpetuate their image even more. We attend their concerts and wave our hands at them, jump wildly, and scream at the top of our lungs for them. Some of us never make it to bowing down. We just fall out at their feet or pass out because they are superstars. We make them bigger than God.
Our Images Today
Let’s look more into today’s representations. What does it mean to be a celebrity? It means to celebrate the person. There are people all over the world who attend concerts and act unseemly. As soon as the “star” comes on stage, they’re screaming, chanting the person’s name, passing out, waving their hands and/or crying. This is how we treat stars and celebrities. We follow their every movement and analyze their every decision. In this way they become our religion, our belief. We are constantly renewing our minds with their lifestyles and following their ways.
The scriptures tell us not to worship the stars or idols. I find it funny that we have placed the very names of what’s forbidden onto people and then don’t find anything wrong with it. We have shows that we are faithful to week after week, but don’t try to get us to study our scriptures for 1 hour 1 day a week. I’m not talking about going to church on Sunday/Saturday because it’s the right thing to do. I’m talking about what we do when we are alone. What is our main focus? What do we spend most of our time doing? Or are we like David, “I rejoice in the way of your instruction (testimonies) more than any kind of wealth.” (Ps. 119:14 CJB)
Let’s define the terms our culture has given us for famous people. An idol is an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed; an image of a deity other than God; any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion. A celebrity is a famous or well-known person; renown. A star is any heavenly body; celebrated, prominent, or distinguished.
The very words we use to describe these three terms should be used for Elohim – admiration, adoration, devotion, renown, celebrated, prominent, and distinguished. Instead, we bestow these things upon mankind. We follow celebrities’ lives on TV through their own show, regular news, and entertainment news. If asked, we can tell you all out a “star” and what’s going on in her life. But please don’t ask us too much about the scriptures because, well, we just don’t know what’s really in there. That’s why we have so many denominations. We are more focus on the latest movie star, pop star, American Idol than we are on Elohim.
There may be nothing wrong with watching shows about celebrities, but that would depend on how much time you spend with your Creator verses your celebrity/star. Do you take more time to learn what your God likes, what he wants, how he sees things? Do you know how to answer someone who tries to tear apart your belief? Can you tell whether or not someone is really telling you the truth when he says, “Thus says the Lord…”? Do you know your God’s voice? If not, then maybe it’s time to get to know him better.
Maybe you don’t have any carved or graven images in your home. But are there any posters of celebrities set up because you or your loved one just had to have it? Are there any pictures of “Jesus” on your walls? Do you have statues of “Jesus” sitting on the table?
I Love My Pastor
Now I know this section will get me into a lot of trouble, but I’m going there anyway. The scripture tells us to honor those who rule over us. It doesn’t say to make that person our god. I have found some people are more afraid of what their pastor would think then what God would think. I never really understood this because Elohim is the only one with the power to send us to heaven or hell. He is the only one who sees everything we do day in and day out. No one else does. He is the only one who sees every good and bad thing we do.
I have seen people move out of the way when the pastor comes by like they are parting the red sea. Yet, these same people would not move if someone else said, “Excuse me” to get by. A lot of people treat their pastor as a god and are more afraid of him then they are of Elohim, the Almighty.
I have even seen people treat their pastor better than their spouse. There are people who need their pastor’s okay to do something, but never asked Elohim what he thought about it. There are people who dress up and bring a gift on special days set up to honor their pastors, but won’t honor the festivals their Elohim gave them in scriptures, the very scriptures they claim is the Word of Elohim for his people to follow. When we act like this we are not honoring our pastor. We are putting him above everyone else. We have given him the honor that belongs to Yahweh Elohim alone.
So do we have idols today? Yes, we do. Anytime we put anyone (family, friends, pastors, celebrities) or anything (job, car, business, house) before God then it is an idol and God isn’t please.
So before we quickly jump to condemn Israel for all of their idol worship, let’s look at our own lives and see where we have set up an idol at. Remember, God tells us to love him and obey him with all of our being, not anyone else.
In my humble opinion worshipping the renown is a no-no. What do you think about the second commandment? Should we keep this one or throw it out? Is it relevant today or do you feel I am grasping at straws?
Our Heavenly Father, who is in heaven,
Open our eyes to any way we are not obeying this commandment. Show us areas in our lives where we have made idols and have worshipped them. Then give us the courage to follow you and you alone and to turn from any idol worship we are doing.
In Yeshua the Messiah’s name, Amen.