Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them.”
There are some who interpret God’s commandment forbidding Israel to make idols as a commandment that forbids us to use cameras or video equipment. They think that making a picture, an image, of anything is sinful. By that rationale, it is wickedness for a child to draw a tree in the sand with his finger. But unless you plan to bow down and worship the picture you make with your camera, there is no sin in taking the picture.
God’s plainly stated purpose for forbidding the making of images, or idols, was to prevent the spread of idolatry among His people. The prohibition concerns idols of heathen gods, not school pictures of your children. To interpret this simple commandment forbidding idols in such a way that a photographer would be made to be a sinner because he uses a camera is sheer nonsense.
Go ahead and enjoy your cameras. Take your pictures with gladness of heart and thanksgiving to God. But by all means, do not bow down to them or sacrifice any animals to them when your pictures are developed.
The real sin of idolatry was not the construction of idols, anyway. The real sin of idolatry was having faith in the god that the idol represented instead of having faith in the true God. It is not in style now to build idols as the ancients cultures did, but the sin of idolatry is still a reality among us. Whereas most Israelites in the Old Testament believed Jehovah to be one god among many, modern children of God believe Him to be one of only two. They trust God to do good to them and blame the Devil for every bad thing that happens. But reducing the number of gods does not mitigate the sin.
There is only one God, before whom even Satan trembles. God is the sole Master over your blessings and your curses, your sickness and your health, your gladness and your sorrows. To trust Satan to determine your sufferings is to have faith in another god. To trust Satan to hurt you is the very spirit of idolatry that God was warning His people not to give in to when he said, “Make no graven images.” They would have called the gods by different names: Moloch, Baal, Astarte, and others, but the spirit is the same as calling them Satan, or the Devil, or Lucifer.
God wants all your faith. He knows that in Him is the only safe place for us to put it. If all our faith is not in Him to be God over all the circumstances of our lives, if we trust some other to be in control of what happens to us, we are as guilty of breaking this second commandment as if we had erected on our front lawns an idol and an altar for making animal sacrifices.