Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images or 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. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me – Exodus 20:3-5.
Graven images have always been restricted for the believer or the born-again Christian because it takes our faith and hope in God and places it with a person or an object. Throughout time man has always worship either God or the god of brass, stone, gold, silver, and even nature. Whenever graven images are mentioned the majority of people would consider it to be a painting or a statue; they rarely think of a person such as themselves or their loved ones or their possessions.
Graven Image – A idol carved in wood or stone.
Idol – An image regarded as an object of worship. A person or thing blindly or excessively adored.
The Bible indicates that worship graven images is committing idolatry. Idolatry is the worship of idols, blind or excessive adoration or devotion. To worship something or someone we must love or pursue devotedly. If we worship anything other than God we are idolatrous the worship of deity made visible, whether of truth or false ideas, in images, pictures, stars, fire or ideal statements as shown in business pursuits or pleasure or for honor where the self is preferred above the honor and glory of God. Nearly three in four of all the human race are open idolaters and if judged by the strict moral sense of the term many of the fourth worship self rather than God.
The statement thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images meaning that we the people of God should not place our trust in ourselves, objects, or people. Whatever we place our faith in other than God has become our god! Money has become one of our graven images. Many that are in leadership have let down the standards of holiness because of the love of money. Many are not governed by the Bible but by how much people are giving in tithes and offering. The teaching of holiness and hell has become a thing of the past because leaders don’t want to offend anyone. The reason the Sadducees and Pharisees were offended at Jesus’ teaching because He taught them the truth of the Word of God.
The love of money will send one to hell, it will cause us to deny all standards of holiness to gain money. There is nothing with being prosperous but when it gains through taking lives naturally and spiritually we have sinned against God. The love of money makes us walk in greed, and become slaves to the graven image. Greed and lust are running buddies. Greed is an overwhelming desire to acquire or have wealth or power in excess of what one requires or deserves. Lust is an overwhelming craving whether it’s for money, power, sex or food. Lust comes in many forms and lust will cause one to be a candidate for hell because when it’s lusted, the person will do anything to appease their fleshy desire.
Some have made television their god, they wakeup watching television, they go to bed watching television, but never have the time to pray or read God’s Word, they have made the television their god. Many have made their phones their gods, they watch their phone more than focusing on building a relationship with God. Many have made people their god rather than seeking the face of God in prayer they go to people. There is nothing wrong with receiving counseling from others but our first counselor should be Jesus. The first number we should be calling is 911-JESUS! Let Him be your first call, let Him be your counselor then if He wants to use a human vessel, He will inform you.
Many have made their spouse and their children their god, they live and breathe for their family, love has blinded their eyes from seeing these are only gifts God has given us for a limited time. We’re to love our spouse and children, but we never should devote ourselves to them more than we do God (If any man come to me and hate not his father, and mother and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple – Luke 14:26). Jesus is not instructing the believer to literally hate their family but the essence of discipleship is giving Christ first place. To “hate one’s family” and even one’s life is rhetorical. It refers to desiring something less than something else. This instruction was especially appropriate in Jesus’ day since a decision for Jesus could mean rejection by family and persecution even to the point of death. Those who feared family disapproval or persecution would not come to Jesus.
Being a disciple of Jesus does not mean we neglect our responsibilities for our spouse and children, but we do not allow them to dictate whether or not we will submit ourselves to the teaching of God’s Word. In order to live a productive life with the promise of entering into God’s kingdom, God comes first, family second, job third and any all others come after that. Each of us can do a self-examination and see if we have allowed ourselves to worship anything or anyone more than we do our Father and our Saviour. Jesus came to please the Father, and we should live to please the Father.
As Christians we can’t serve the gods that others serve, God has given us the commandment not to do so (Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you – Deuteronomy 6:14). This Scripture wasn’t just for the children of Israel, as they were His people so are we and the same prohibition that was for them is for us as well as the people of God. Take the time and read and study the Bible, apply it to your life daily and you will please the Father as well as having a relationship with your God and your Father.