Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Because of our human desire to serve a higher power other than ourselves, the pagan world in not knowing and understanding God has in the past and throughout time created images of impotent gods that soothed its need.
The Lord is understanding of our desire to feel complete and therefore forbids that we place our focus on objects that not only create a false hope in mankind, but that lead us away from Him.
He is the living God, there is no other God like Him. To God alone must our undivided devotion be given. Only God must be worshipped His way.
We should not invent our own method or marker or symbol of God.
Our own idea of God takes away from not only how it is He wants us to worship him, but distorts the clear vision and instruction He has given us through the scriptures.
When we decide that we want to create a god in an image that we understand or can relate to we subject ourselves to human fault and give the devil the opportunity to tempt us through idolatry and through false signs and wonders.
We should not make the mistake that many throughout the history of Christianity and inclusively related to what the Hebrew/ Jewish people have done in that we want to represent God through symbols or images.
While the intention of the heart of the believer may stem from a feeling of devotion through adorning his or her home with things that are of God, many give credence or place flipped importance on them. At the time of the Israelites exodus from Egypt and through the influence of the world surrounding them did they re-enter into idolatry even after being delivered from bondage. There was a void that was unknown to them, the need for the living God in their hearts. So much so that in their despair, which was created out of lack of faith, did make them to turn to the gods of Egypt.
It was important to them to set their eyes on something tangible. How often in our lives do we express the same desire to see a manifestation or outward symbol of His existence?
Is this proof of our weakness of faith? Or is it that we doubt our God?
We say that we believe in Him, but do we believe Him?
We fail to see that we are not alone or abandoned.
Is it necessary for us to see in order to believe? Must we place our finger in his wound to know that he has died for our salvation; and even then, will that be sufficient?
Perhaps what one really requires is a deeper understanding of God; to grow in faith so we can better know His true nature.
How then shall we worship the Lord? We should love Him with all of our strengths and with every fibre of our being. Our devotion requires no image, simply a devoted heart and faithfulness to His commandments and adherence of His Word. We should rejoice in His love for us and rely on His undying faithfulness to those who seek Him. In our lone and dark moments of life are witnessed by Him, and His presence in our despair is in fact at its strongest.
Sometimes those things that pull away from God are things that consume our lives.
How often do we choose to ignore to do the things that God desires us to because we place other things in a higher place of importance than Him?
Sometimes those things that we feel we simply cannot live without become like gods in the center of our lives.
Sometimes we place others before him. We put away the learning of his word and compromise our personal time with him in order to make time for others in our lives, or a favourite pass time.
How often do we extend an invitation to our loved ones to worship with us? Not only must we be careful not to create or place other gods before him, we must declare our faithfulness and proclaim our faith to those in our lives. We must be careful never to deny him.
We must be careful what and who we place in his designated space in our hearts and our lives.
That while it is perfectly fine to spend time with family and friends or any other enjoyable thing in our lives, we must put him first.
We are called to have hope in things unseen.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Our faith in God though we are not always aware of his presence, is our salvation. The world’s sinful nature insists that only in natural and in material manifestations are we given proof of anything.
The truth is that while we have yet to see the glory of the lord, he manifests himself in the lives of his followers not because of merit, but through faith. We may not ever reach perfection in our own understanding and in our personal characteristics. Neither may the circumstances that cause us pain or suffering be fully eliminated from our earthly lives. Only through faith and through the endurance that the power of his strength affords to us are we able to strive for holiness through him.
Therefore, it is imperative that we understand that no image or symbol can ever equally represent his greatness and the power of his name.
The Lord has forbidden it, he alone is God, there can be no other. Many of us ignore the significance of this because of the chaotic white noise the world creates. Only when the moments of despite touch our lives do we seek his face and hope that he hears our pleas for help. In truth, it is in the stillness of our lives when we see his power manifest with greatness. Everyday is a miracle and the perfection with which everything and everyone around us are so gloriously made. There is no other god that can create the way he can, no other god is capable of giving life.
Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
The name of the Lord is holy and is to be revealed above all names; he is the only and living God, our creator, who is worthy of our respect and to whom honor is given. His name should not be spoken outside of direct conversation or honour of him.
His name is not a token word to be used blasphemously or in a vulgar way.
In today’s world however, it has become common place to use words out of context or impetuously for effect or to emphasis significance to a or our own point of view.
This misuse goes unchecked by society who has become so flexible with the disintegration of social norms and standards; bringing forward greater contempt.
Sadly, even believers are guilty of this. Some may have been so accustomed to using God’s name out of anger when we choose to disrespect him in profanity, but to those among us who have been called to teach or to prophesy ; this commandment is most relative. Many who claim to prophesy or to teach use his name to further their own cause.
14. Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
When we look at this piece of scripture, it should become quickly understood that using God’s name with empty prophesy is something that he strongly disagrees with.
That is not to say that God does not continue to speak to his people directly, but what it does mean is that anything that God has placed in us with conviction to accomplish in his name must be verified though scripture. Sometimes this means that we must pray and discern further; if it is truly from the Lord it will prove it self with little or no human interpretation in self-fulfilment.
God is truth, and as believers in YSHA the words that we say to one an other should be founded in truth.
Therefore our own desires and hopes should not misinterpreted as being God’s direction when we speak. When God conveys through illumination truths in regards to revelation we must remember that his truth is not to be manipulated, nor should others through the words that we say, especially when we choose to attach his name to any message we mean to en part or something that he has given us to share with our brothers and sisters. We should be careful to avoid any circumstance that would contradict his ways or lead us to portray our thoughts as his.
Just as important, that when we say we belong to him and then choose to not live according to his will, we not only fail him but we deal a great disservice to the honour of his name. In doing so we create cause for those who do not love God, both from outside of the faith and those who love to criticize that are within the faith to discredit the validity of his word and the may cause a great disrespect for all things holy.
8. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
9. “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
“..for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”
God will hold us all accountable, and one day we will individually have to be before him in judgement of the things that we have said and done on earth. We will come face to face with every single deed and word we have done or spoken, in every context and conviction in which we said and did them.
Our God is a just God, our faith should lead us to great trembling and the fear that stems from love and obedience, and not the negative fear that our human flesh feels when in peril. Everything that we say and do should be comparatively measured to God’s statutes. In keeping with commandments our obedience grants us mercy through him. The contemporary church today has the propensity to neglect the severity of the consequences for neglecting the statues and commandments of God for fear of not being inclusive in the world’s ever growing politically correct and uniform stance.