Daily Devotional: Day 142
“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 . . .” (Exodus 20:4-5, NKJV).
Our relationship with God is like a love affair, modeled after a marriage covenant. Therefore, fidelity is key to the relationship. Fidelity requires exclusivity just as occurs between a husband and a wife. Once you understand that our relationship with God is like a marriage covenant, most things in Scripture will make sense to you. It will also help you to grasp the importance of personally remaining faithful to the voice of the Lord. Think about this: What is marriage without the fidelity of both parties? That is why the Bible says God is a covenant keeping God (cf. Deuteronomy 7:8-10). Our role in this relationship is faith, because faith means fidelity.
Today’s Bible passage is part of the Ten Commandments. Pay attention to what God is saying. He says we should not make for ourselves a carved image in the likeness of anything in heaven, earth or seas. He adds that we should not bow to such images or perform any services to them. This commandment is based on the exclusivity of God’s relationship with us. This explains why He said that He is a jealous God. He is jealous not because He is insecure or because He needs us. No, God is complete in Himself and does not need us to feel secure. He is jealous in the sense that He has entered a love relationship with us which is based on the terms of a marriage covenant. He cannot, therefore, entertain that we turn to other ‘gods’ in the form of idols, images and statues, or something else. I once heard Oprah Winfrey say that she had a problem when she heard a preacher say that God was jealous – of her (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2SrZJlPnjk). It appears Oprah misunderstood the context in which the Bible declares the Lord to be a jealous God, and this misunderstanding may have adversely affected her notion of the God of the Bible for many years of her life.
Around the world, many people have a propensity to look for God or connect with Deity via so-called religious objects: statues, images, beads, crosses, crucifixes, talismans, scapulars, so-called pictures of ‘Jesus,’ etc. God detests such practices, because they amount to idolatry and they constitute a gross violation of His commandment. God is spirit, and He wants to be worshiped accordingly without any man-made objects serving as ‘bridges’ or ‘connectors’ to Him (cf. John 4:21-24). Furthermore, let’s recall that God made us in his own image and likeness (cf. Genesis 1:26-27). It is, therefore, an abomination for human beings to turn to the image and likeness of creatures or objects, bow down to them, pay them homage, venerate or serve them within the context of prayer and worship.
Let’s worship the God of the Bible in spirit and in truth, and we shall be blessed. May Jesus’ face shine upon you today! Amen.
For further study: Revelation 22:8-9