THE TEN COMMANDMENTS: The Second Commandment
INTRO: When we take a closer look at the Ten Commandments, we see that all of the commandments are about relationships. The first four show us how to live in harmony with God. The last six show us how to live in harmony with other people. We cannot violate God’s commandments without harming our relationship with Him and with others. The second commandment teaches us how we should worship the one true God - no idols or images.
I. The Danger of Worshipping Idols & Images (v. 4)
> The Ten Commandments are a moral compass.
- They guide us so that we do not live according to the flesh.
- They make us realize that we need a Savior.
- Some people have forsaken the moral compass of the Ten Commandments.
- The two greatest commandments are to love God and love others.
- They fulfill all the commandments.
- We sometimes fail to follow those two commandments.
> God says, “Thou shalt not.”
- It is not to make us miserable; He is warning us.
- He is like a parent; He sets boundaries to keep us from the danger of sin.
- It is good for us to be warned; there is a demonic force in the world.
- God forbids us to participate in witchcraft, sorcery, mediums, or horoscopes (Deuteronomy 18:9-12).
- Never believe that a dead person is talking to you; it is a demon.
- “The Lord has not appointed such for you” (Deuteronomy 18:14).
- We are appointed to have a personal relationship with the Lord.
- God needs to be our greatest priority.
> The Israelites did not destroy the Canaanites as God instructed them to do.
- They succumbed to worshipping their idols.
- God told them not to follow the pagan customs of the nations (Deuteronomy 18:9).
- They even sacrificed their children to demons, the same as we do today (Psalm 106:34-38).
II. The Consequences of Worshipping Idols & Images (v. 5)
> God told Moses on the mountain to not make an idol or carve an image.
- The Israelites were at the bottom of the mountain making an idol by molding a golden calf.
- They were punished by the Lord (Exodus 32).
- Worship is not about images or statues.
- God forbade making images of Him.
- Jesus is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15).
- We are made in the image of God and He put His Spirit in us.
- Satan puts his spirit in images.
> God is a jealous God and will punish the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Him (v. 5).
- This is not about our mistakes; it is for those who hate God.
III. The Blessings of Having a Pure Relationship with God (v. 6; Deuteronomy 7:9)
> God wants us to be pure.
- He wants us to have a pure relationship with Him.
- We are to know the Lord and love the Lord and be faithful to Him.
- All Scripture is meant for teaching and growing in the Lord.
- God shows mercy to a thousand generations to those who love Him and keep His commandments (v. 6).
- The definition of showing in verse six is to prepare, to fashion, appoint, ordain, bring about, or produce.
- God will prepare, fashion, and bring about mercy when we love Him and obey Him.
- This is the grace of God in the Old Testament.
- A thousand generations will be blessed because we love God.
- Our relationship with God will affect generations to come.
- He is a jealous God; He is jealous for our affection, our love.
- There is good jealousy.
- Jealousy for godly reasons desires that nothing bad will happen to someone.
- There is mercy even in commandments.
> There is danger with impurity in our relationship with God.
- Impurity in our choices affects our relationship with God.
- We don’t vacate our relationship, but there is a separation.
- It will also affect those around us.
- Be careful lest you fall.
- Don’t be caught up in the things of this world.
- If we have anything impure in our lives, we need to get rid of it.
- The Holy Spirit will help us.
- God wants us to come out and be separate from the world.
CONCLUSION: Are you worshiping the true God of the universe, or are you worshiping your own image of God? There’s a big difference between the two, and the consequences are just as great. God desires for us to have a pure relationship with him - no idols or false images. If there's an area of impurity in your life, I encourage you to lay it down today.