“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
There are plenty of images used for God in the Bible: A warrior (Ex. 15:3), A shepherd (Ps. 23:1), A husband (Ezekiel 16), A rock (Genesis 49:24) and so on… So why not make an image of God if the Bible uses imagery to describe God? Well the variety of images used for God gives us the answer… That is, no one image can fully describe God or capture all of his character. To make a physical image of God is to capture just one part of his character while denying the others. And every image of God is really an incomplete picture because there are lots of ways that God is not like a rock (he has feelings of instance), there are lots of ways God is not like husband, or like a shepherd, etc…
Of course the most obvious danger of making an image is that we worship the created thing rather than the creator… This is the most common sin for humankind (check Romans 1:21-25), and a danger not foreign to Israel or to us.
- What part/s of God’s Character do you focus on when you think of God?
- Are there parts of God’s character that you are ignoring?