Thursday, August 14, 2008

Image of God

Deuteronomy 4:14-19 And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that you might observe them in the land which you cross over to possess. 15 “Take careful heed to yourselves, for you saw no form when the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, 16 lest you act corruptly and make for yourselves a carved image in the form of any figure: the likeness of male or female, 17 the likeness of any animal that is on the earth or the likeness of any winged bird that flies in the air, 18 the likeness of anything that creeps on the ground or the likeness of any fish that is in the water beneath the earth. 19 And take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the Lord your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage.

Israel was given a prohibition to making an image of the real God. Now it is easy to understand why we should not make an image of false god, but why is it also important not to make an image of the true God? This was the question we posed in our study on worship yesterday evening.

Several answers were forwarded.

1. One may worship the object that represents God.

Exodus 20:5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

2. The object is less glorious than God and so diminishes His glory.

Isaiah 48:11 For My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it; For how should My name be profaned? And I will not give My glory to another.

3. God has put forth a perfect physical image in the person of Christ.

Hebrews 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

The practical implications of this truth should cause us to be cautious about producing anything that physically represents God. Movies such as the 1977 movie “Oh God”

staring George Burns as God or the more recent 2003 movie “Bruce Almighty” where Morgan Freeman portrays God, both diminish the character of God.

"“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the

knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." (Proverbs 9:10)

No comments: