under a special agreement with
presents "Light from the Old Testament"
under a special agreement with
Lesson 5 (Part 4)
The first commandment tells us that we are to have no other gods before God. The second commandment tells us that we are not to make any images or idols to represent God. We are not to bow down to them, nor serve them.
The second commandment is connected with the fact that "God is a Spirit." We cannot see Him or touch Him. When God spoke to the people of Israel, they saw "no image or form." It is good that God's people feel led to close their eyes when praying to God. They desire to shut out the visible world when addressing God. Jesus said,
"God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." John 4:24
All idols are hateful to God. They rob God of the worship that is due Him alone. We are not to make, bow down to, or worship any obejct that we can see, touch, or feel. The Bible says,
"You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only shall you serve." (Matthew 4:10)
We should, however, realize that there are other kinds of idols besides those which are made by men's hands. Whatever comes before God in your life is an idol.
Many people make a god of money. They live and work for money. Others make a god of pleasure. Whatever shuts God out of your life, whatever comes between you and God, is an idol in your life. In the light of this we can understand what the apostle John means when he says, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." (1 John 5:21)
God will not accept a divided heart. Jesus said, "No man can serve two masters." God refuses to be one of several gods or even the chief of many gods. He says, "I am the LORD: that is My name: and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images." Isaiah 42:8
How wonderful it is, that in connection with this commandment, God says, "For I the LORD your God am a jealous God." That is the language of true love. God is saying, "I love you so much that I must have your love wholly for Myself."
Does my love really mean that much to God? Yes, it does. It is most precious to Him. When Jesus was asked which commandment was the greatest, He replied,
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment." Matthew 22:37-38
What does it mean to take God's name "in vain"? It means to use God's name in a light or careless way, or to use it in cursing or swearing.
God is very great, and His name is great. The Bible says, "Holy and reverend is His name." Jesus taught His disciples to pray, "Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed [holy] be Thy name." (Matthew 6:9)
God will not permit people to use His name in a careless way. It is a serious offense to show disrespect to the flag of your country. How much more serious it is to show disrespect and dishonor to God. To do so classifies you with the enemies of God. The Bible says, "…Your enemies take Your name in vain." (Psalm 139:20)
Some people never speak the name of Jesus Christ except in cursing. Jesus is God the Son, and it is a sin to take His name in vain.
Some people take God's name in vain, but they say, "I don't mean anything by it." God will not permit men to trifle with Him in this way. Suppose I steal a man's watch, sell it, and spend the money. When he finds out about it and comes to me, I say, "Yes, I stole your watch, sold it, and spent the money, but I didn't mean anything by it." Such an excuse would not be acceptable to him, nor will such an excuse to acceptable to God. One day we will have to give an account to God for every word we have spoken. The Lord Jesus said,
"Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." Matthew 12:36
Some people attempt to excuse themselves for swearing by saying that it is a habit with them. This means that, over a long period of time, such a person has regularly trained himself to show disrespect and dishonor to God's name. Will God accept such an excuse? No, He certainly will not. The Bible says,
"…the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes His name in vain." Exodus 20:7
The remedy for cursing and swearing is loving God with all your heart. If you love Him, you will not dishonor His name. David was the greatest king Israel ever had. David said,
"Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14
Now do the questions for this fifth lesson which was in 4 parts: