What's the second commandment

As Christians, we are called to follow the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God on Mount Sinai. The second commandment, "You shall not make for yourself a carved image," is often misunderstood and overlooked. In this blog post, we will explore the meaning and significance of the second commandment and how we can apply it to our lives today.

The second commandment is often interpreted as a prohibition on making physical idols or images to worship. While this is certainly one aspect of the commandment, there is much more to it than that. The commandment is really about the nature of God and the way we relate to Him.

At its core, the second commandment is a reminder that God is a spiritual being who cannot be represented by any physical image or idol. God is infinite, eternal, and omnipotent, and any attempt to reduce Him to a physical form is ultimately futile. As the apostle Paul writes in Romans 1:23, "They exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles."

But the commandment is not just a warning against physical idolatry. It also has implications for the way we relate to God in our hearts and minds. We must be careful not to create mental images or concepts of God that are limited or distorted. For example, we may conceive of God as a stern judge who is always looking for ways to punish us, or as a distant deity who is not interested in our daily lives. These images are just as limiting and false as physical idols, and they hinder our ability to truly know and worship God.

So how can we apply the second commandment to our lives today? First and foremost, we must recognize and embrace the spiritual nature of God. We cannot reduce God to a physical image or concept, but we can seek to know Him through prayer, study of scripture, and fellowship with other believers. By cultivating a deep and personal relationship with God, we can experience His love, grace, and power in our lives.

Secondly, we must be careful not to create false images or concepts of God in our minds. We must be open to God's revelation of Himself through scripture, prayer, and other means, and be willing to let go of any preconceived notions or beliefs that are not in line with His character and nature.

Finally, we must be vigilant against the temptation to worship other gods or idols in our lives. While physical idolatry may not be as prevalent today as it was in biblical times, we still face many temptations to place other things above God in our hearts and minds. These may include money, power, fame, or even our own desires and passions. We must be willing to surrender these idols and submit ourselves fully to God's will and purposes for our lives.

Subscribe to Bible Analysis

Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.
Jamie Larson