What Does Exodus 20:4 Mean?

"You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.

Exodus 20:4(NASB)

Verse of the Day

There is nothing more obnoxious to the Lord than the worship of graven images and idolatry surrounding false gods. When God presented Himself to the people of Israel in the wilderness and made His covenant with them, the very first matter the Lord brought up was this issue of idolatry, where something or someone, visible or invisible, was placed before Him.

From the beginning, men started to worship the creation instead of the Creator. The flood was a judgement on the continuously increasing wickedness and idolatry that covered the antediluvian world. And the ongoing deification of man following the flood, was the reason for the destruction of the tower of Babel and the confusion of languages.

Idolatry was the reason that God called Abraham out of the idol-worshipping city of Ur and determined to use him and his chosen descendants to circumvent Satan's nefarious plans to corrupt and enslave mankind by saturating the earth with alternative deities, disgusting demigods, and a satanic worldview.

The devious desire of the devil is to ascend to heaven, raise his throne above the stars of God, sit on the mount of assembly in the recesses of the north, and make himself like the Most High God by ascending above the heights of the clouds!

"I am the LORD your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery," are the majestic words of the Lord, spoken to His chosen nation when He made His covenant with them: "You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them nor serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God."

The first two commands that Israel received were clearly in connection with the unique status and supremacy of God, when Israel was given the unquestionable command to never entertain any other deities by participating in idolatry or placing graven images and idols before the true and living God.

The entire Bible, both the Old and New Testament, gives witness to this abominable question of idolatry which is a fundamental tool of the enemy to dethrone God and dehumanise mankind. Although this command was originally given to Israel as part of their covenant with the Lord, the disgusting practice of idolatry must be shunned by every child of God.

We are to consider the members of our earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed - ALL of which, Paul reminds us, amount to idolatry. We are to worship the Lord our God in spirit and in truth, for our Heavenly Father seeks worshippers who live by faith, walk in spirit, trust His Word, and worship only Him.

We are to remember that God will never share His glory with another and no holy angel nor angelic messenger of the Lord, has ever accepted worship from men, as we are reminded by John in his Revelation of Jesus Christ - for He is the incarnate God Who alone is worthy of all worship and praise and honour and glory.

Let us shun every aspect of idolatry whenever it raises its ugly head in our own lives, and remember the apostle's warning that no immoral, impure, or greedy person - i.e. no IDOLATER has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God... for the unrighteous and those engaged in idolatry will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Before being born again, most, if not all believers engaged in some form of idolatry - either the elevation of self or the veneration of some other little created deity. Let us shun any form of idolatry and every idolatrous behaviour... and let us keep our eyes fixed on the true and living God - Jesus Christ, our God and Saviour in Whom are the words of eternal life.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, I realise, more and more, how despicable and obnoxious is the practice of idolatry, when someone or something is seated on the throne of my life instead of Jesus Christ, the true and living God. Keep me from any form of idolatry. Protect me from the wiles of the devil, and help me to keep the eyes of my heart on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of my faith. Knowing that I died with Christ and have been raised up in Him into newness of life, I pray that king self may be kept in the place of death and that I will not be hoodwinked into giving honour to anything, except my God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in Whose name I pray, AMEN.

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