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Sunday, June 19, 2011

6/20/11 Second Commandment Deuteronomy 5:8

 8 “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. 9 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 parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

(Golden Calf Niccolas Poussin 1633-4- source Wikipedia)

Thoughts: There are images of the true God and there are images of false gods (or secondary gods), both of which are in adequate, unhelpful, and harmful.  Some scholars say the golden calf worshiped when Moses was gone was an attempt to make an image of Israel's true God.  Canaanite depictions had god riding on the back of a bull.  Here was a bull with the invisible God on the back.  But God abruptly rebukes their efforts; He has Moses grind up the gold and make the Israelites eat it.  An image is a limited finite slice of the infinite.  But most images are also interpretations by an artist.  Often the image is developed as a tool for worship but then becomes the object of worship itself (as was Moses' serpent in the wilderness).  To not have an image is to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7).  Living without an image forces us to trust God's words.

Prayer: May I find my trust not in a depiction of you, but in you alone, O Lord. 

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