Q. What is God’s will for us in the second commandment?
A. That we in no way make any image of God (1) nor worship him in any other way than has been commanded in God’s Word (2).
Read: (1) Deut. 4:15-19; Isa. 40:18-25; Acts 17:29; Rom. 1:22-23; (2) Lev. 10:1-7; 1 Sam. 15:22-23; John 4:23-24.
Well, “I don’t think a good God will send anyone to Hell”. Well, “I think God wants to make me happy”. Well, “I’ve heard that God helps those who help themselves”. Well “I don’t see why God would have anything to say about my sexual expressions”. These sister, are things that I hear often. We make God be, what fits our needs, wants and desires. No longer do we believe in God as He has revealed Himself in The Bible, but rather, we pick and choose and reshape and reinvent a god that is ok with us the way we are. Our Western civilizations are too advanced to bow down to images. Now we simply reshape so that god can be just like me. Let’s study what God says about such thing as we study question 95 of The Heidelberg Catechism.
Idolatry is not only bowing down to idols. However, in the context when The Ten Commandments most civilizations surrounding the Israelites were polytheistic, that is, believed in many gods and they made carved images to which they bowed down. Other practices, such as infanticide and prostitution abounded in the worshipping of these gods. However, idolatry is, more than anything a condition of our broken hearts. It is fashioning gods that appeal and serve us. And just as it was with the Israelites, many people still bow down to creation rather than The Creator. I have many friends that believe in the energies that quartz stones bring and therefore no one but the owner can’t touch these stones, less you take their power away and bring bad luck to them. Other friends go to the pyramids in Mexico on special days and get super charged with energy from the sun or the moon or the stars. That is blunt idolatry.
But most of us are more subtle. We idolize ourselves in such a way that we have decided to reshape God in such a way that my lifestyle can be validated and even encouraged. The god that we now have is a mute, castrated, helpless god that exists to serve me, my passions, my interests and my desires. This god would never judge me. This god asks nothing of me. This god is mute, deaf, blind and dumb. And that sister is NOT the God who has revealed Himself to us in The Bible.
The God that we serve glorifies no one but Himself. The God of The Bible is love, but is also a consuming fire. The God of The Bible is All powerful, all knowing and eternal and hence he requires full allegiance. He demands full obedience. He commands the whole universe. Yes, He has loved us with everlasting love in Christ, but if you do not worship Him in the way that He has revealed, He will punish and judge you. Our God is a strong God and worthy to receive all power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing (Rev. 5:12). We cannot reshape God for He is who He is from always and forever. We dare not reshape God for He has revealed Himself with special revelation in Scripture. We won’t reshape Him for even if we try we will surely fail for He will never glorify us.
So dear sister, as we finish this teaching I want to ask you: are you worshiping God in the manner He demands to be worshipped and glorified? Or are you trying to reshape Him in a way that suits you only to realize that your object of worship is none other than yourself?