The Second Commandment – Light of the World or Tarnished Idols
“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.”
Exodus 20:4-6, NIV
This is the second installment in our 10 Commandments series. Today, we focus on the Second Commandment.
We Still Worship Idols
Several years ago, I befriended a Vietnamese neighbor. She invited me into her house and pointed out a picture of “our Mother” – the leader of her religion. She explained that they bowed to the image and worshipped the woman.
Some people think the Second Commandment is antiquated. After all, we don’t worship idols. Some religions still do. But, it doesn’t apply to us. Right? We don’t bow down in front of images.
We may not worship the way my Vietnamese neighbor does but idols fill our lives: money; “toys” (electronics, home decor, clothes, shoes, etc.); relationships; prestige; sex; TV; alcohol; etc.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with these things. The problem comes when they become more important in our life than God is.
Think of those things that sit in the place God should occupy in our life, What can’t you live without? What’s the first thing you think about in the morning and the last thing you think about at night? If it’s not God, it’s an idol.
Who do you really worship – the Light of the world or tarnished idols that will eventually disappoint, rust and break? How did God confront you about your skewed priorities? How do you set priorities so that the things in your life fill their proper role – behind God? How did you learn to worship God instead of things?
How can you share your insights with your readers?
Write It Out
This commandment is made for writing. Why? Because it’s so easy to get caught up with the things around us.
- What personal story can you share in a personal experience piece?
- What guidance, tips and process for change can your offer in a how-to article?
- How can you turn your insights into a devotion? What Scriptures would you use?
- How can you create a conflict for your fictional characters to overcome? How can you realistically help your characters get rid of their idols?
- How can you express your struggles and victories through poetry?
- What can you write for children to help them understand idols? How can you help them keep God first in their lives?
God wants to be the Light in our life. He wants our whole heart without idols getting in the way. We can help our readers make choices that put God first and the things that fill their lives into their proper place.
© Deborah Christensen