The Second Commandment: Image of God

Author: Taylor Eising — Host: Emily TenterPosted on: February 16, 2021

In the second commandment, God instructs His people on how to worship Him. Here, He prohibits Israel both from worshiping idols of other gods and from making and worshiping idols of God Himself or His creation. But why does He specify that idols cannot be part of our worship? First, the surrounding nations all worshiped through idols, and God is setting apart Himself and His people as holy. Because God is different from these other false gods, He must be worshiped differently than they are. God is also communicating to His people that, while we can know Him through the way He reveals Himself in His good law, we can never fully understand Him. We can’t capture His image in an idol because we’ll always miss the Mark If we make and worship an image of who God is instead of worshiping who God has revealed Himself to be, we will end up committing idolatry. The good news is, we don’t have to rely on our own conception of who God is because He has already revealed who He is in Jesus. Jesus is God in flesh, who perfectly embodies God’s good law on our behalf, and through His death and resurrection, He gives us that perfect obedience before God. Not only that: if we know Jesus, He lives inside of us through the Holy Spirit, helping us to obey God and, through that obedience, embody who God is. So God doesn’t need us to create images of Him, because Christ is that image, and, as Christians, He has already created us anew, conforming us into Jesus’ image (Romans 8:29). We carry Him around with us, constantly reminding each other of who He is. And, someday, Jesus will return to make all things new, and we will get to worship Him in person. Nothing we could create would ever compare to that. • Taylor Eising • There is a difference between an idol and artwork. An idol is created specifically to be an object of worship, while artwork is made to depict creation—which can be very God-honoring! In fact, before most people were literate, many churches used pictures to communicate the story of the Bible. What are some other ways we can honor God with artwork? • Why will we never be able to fully capture God’s image? • To learn more about what it means to know God through Jesus, check out our “Know Jesus” page. So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 (NLT)


Read Verses:

Exodus 20:1-2; Deuteronomy 5:1-6; Romans 6:22-23