Last Sunday Halim Suh preached an incredible sermon on the 2nd commandment. Here are my notes. Check out the full length sermon here.
“You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, 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. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
(Exodus 20:3-6 ESV)
Commandment #2 is saying “Don’t worship the true God in a false way.”
The Israelites worshipping the golden calf was breaking the 2nd commandment. They were trying to worship the true God, but were doing it in a false way.A God who is not jealous is like a husband who doesn’t care if his wife is cheating on him.
We make images of God in our hearts and our minds. You must not worship the true God as you prefer Him to be or only some aspects that He reveals, but rather as He reveals himself fully in His word.God is not a buffet line he is a person. You can’t pick and choose what you like about Him.
Ways we edit God:
“I’d like to think of God as a God of love.”
“I don’t think God would send people to hell.”
“I don’t think God would cause bad things to happen, God must have had nothing to do with that.”
By editing God in these ways we are throwing out his sovereignty, righteousness, justice and control over all things.
Jesus is the fulfillment of the 2nd commandment:
- He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. (Colossians 1:15 ESV)
- For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily. (Colossians 2:9 ESV)
We also try to edit Jesus and make him more of a Prozac Jesus that makes you feel better, or an Amazon.com Jesus that gives us what we want, but the true Jesus will always give you what you need even at the cost of what you want.
Jesus points out your wrongs and gives you forgiveness, and does the same to your worst enemy. You can’t earn His love it’s free, it’s grace!
What difference does our obedience make?
When you keep his commandments you leave a legacy by the way you worship. You are either pointing to the true God or you are showing the world a god you made up.
We either point to Jesus for salvation or we lead people astray to worship a make believe god.