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Friday, September 15, 2006

2nd Way to Delight in the Lord

As a child, I thought the 10 Commandments were simply a set of rules to follow. Then, I discovered I couldn't keep the rules, leading me to Christ for my righteousness. Then, the 10 Commandments no longer condemn, but show us the character of God. As a believer, I can look to these laws to see how to please the Father. For if Christ never once violated these laws, and my desire is to look more like Him, then these laws help me know Him.

You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Isaiah 44:9-20 exposes the folly of created gods. Those who are created, fashion a god, and then begin to worship that which they made. They have no hands. They can not move. They must be nailed down to keep from falling over. You must carry it to another room if you want to move its prescence. Yet, we pay homage to it. With half the wood, we make a fire to burn our food over and keep warm. With the other half, we form an idol and begin to worship. Silly middle eastern ancients. We'd never do something that foolish.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

Jesus said we must worship in spirit and truth. He reminds us where we can turn to find the truth about God; His Word. The truth is, we are lazy. The Israelites were tempted to craft their own gods, not because it took more effort, but because it was easier to craft a god in their minds and form a statue to represent it. Things have not changed in a few thousand years. God has gone to great lengths to reveal Himself in the Word, yet we would rather craft Him out of our imaginations. Have a difficult time understanding tragedy? Craft a god who doesn't see the into the future, one who is surprised by the events. Do you struggle with a God who would create hell as a place of punishment? Craft a god who loves everyone and will pardon all. Do you battle the concept of a God who desires His glory above all? Place yourself at the center of the universe!

God transcends us. There will be things we will not be able to comprehend. With our sin-filled hearts, we will naturally craft characteristics of God that are not accurate. There is only one way to keep from crafting our own image. We must dive into His Word. We must work. We must be His craftmanship, not vice versa. We will find ourselves not ashamed, provided we are accurately handling the Word of God. Anytime I begin to craft a perspective of God outside of His revealed Word, I might as well get out a chisel and form an image from the dead tree in my back yard.

And as we rightly present Him, the world rightly sees Him.

[Other commandments: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]


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