Our church has an amazing pastor & teacher. For years (and I’m not kidding) we have been learning from the book of Exodus, and recently Bill has been teaching on the “Ten Words”. As a child, I learned them as the 10 Commandments, but they are actually more than that. Today’s lesson was a kind of preparation for a detailed study of the 2nd word, which I always thought was a prohibition of physical idol worship. It’s not. Pagan idol worship is actually included in the 1st word (“… no other gods before Me…”). The 2nd is addressing Christian idol worship. What? Christian’s don’t have any idols! … do they?
God’s word says:
They have hands, but do not feel;
feet, but do not walk;
and they do not make a sound in their throat.
Those who make them become like them;
so do all who trust in them.
(Psalm 115:7-8 ESV)
Thus we understand that we are in some sense worshiping something/someone when we put our trust there in worship. This is actually what the 2nd word prohibits – any worship involving trust in a thing, method or ritual which we have come up with. This is as opposed to the worship patterns the Lord has clearly given us, as laid out in Scripture. This blog isn’t the place for a long discussion on biblical worship, so I will mention one clear distinction Bill made between these two in terms of their characteristics. Sinful men prefer to worship by sight, because whatever we can see, we can control (by closing our eyes, at the very least). Biblical worship is primarily responding by listening, speaking or singing to God’s word which we hear, and cannot control. (Unlike our eyes, we cannot close our ears at will.) One day all men, heaven or hell bound, will worship God’s image (Jesus) by sight, but today we do not see, but rather listen & worship by faith.
I never realized all that until today.