This study was taught at our Sunday evening service by Sim Forder, one of our pastors, on the 10th May 2020. You can listen to the audio on this web page or save it for later listening.
This is the third in a series of studies on the Ten Commandments (you can find the introduction here). At the start of the study we reviewed some foundations that are important when trying to understand the purpose of each law:
- The heart of the matter, is the matter of the heart
- The law exposes our sin
- The law leads us to Jesus
- We are saved by grace, not by works
- Having been saved, we should show our faith by our works
- If you love Jesus, keep His commandments
- God has given us His commandments for our benefit
This study focussed on the second commandment that God gave to Moses on Sinai:
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, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.Exodus 20:4-6
Early on in the study, the following summary of the first two commandments was shared:
The first four of the ten commandments, commonly called the First table, tell our duty to God. It was fit that those should be put first, because man had a Maker to love, before he had a neighbor to love. It cannot be expected that he should be true to his brother, who is false to his God.
The first commandment concerns the object of worship, Jehovah, and him only. The worship of creatures is here forbidden. Whatever comes short of perfect love, gratitude, reverence, or worship, breaks this commandment. Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
The second commandment refers to the worship we are to render to the Lord our God. It is forbidden to make any image or picture of the Deity, in any form, or for any purpose; or to worship any creature, image, or picture. But the spiritual import of this command extends much further. All kinds of superstition are here forbidden, and the using of mere human inventions in the worship of God.Matthew Henry
Ultimately, we have a choice as to what or who we put our trust in – and we must decide;
Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.Joshua 24:14-15