A few years ago, my wife and I visited Thailand. We spent a morning touring part of Bangkok, including a Buddhist temple. We were gawking tourists. We snuck into the back of one shrine crammed with people, some admiring the statue of Buddha, others worshipping it. The experience called to mind the second commandment.
Exodus 20:4-6 says, “You shall not make for yourself an idol 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 fathers 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.” (NIV)
Obviously, Buddha is not the god of the bible. God doesn’t want his people worshipping images from other religions. But this command also forbids making an image of him. So, why is God so upset when people make an idol? The answer is in Acts 17:29, “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone–an image made by man’s design and skill.”
God the creator is unlike anything in his creation. Be devoted to him, not to anything created.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.