A Spirit God
Bible Reading: Exodus 20:4-6
Do not make idols of any kind (Exodus 20:4).
“What's the big deal?” Omri asked his friend Levi. The pair sat beside Omri’s family tent in the desert; the great Mount Sinai loomed in the distance.
“Huh?” Levi adjusted his striped headgear to shield his face from the sand.
Omri pointed to the front page headline of the local newspaper, The Sinai Grumbler: “Moses returns from mountain, reports Ten Commandments given to him by God.”
“I just don’t see what the big deal is,” Omri explained, kicking the pebbles on the ground with his sandaled feet. “I mean, some of these commandments make sense. But listen to number two: ‘Do not make idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds or animals or fish. You must never worship or bow down to them,’ it says.”
“Yeah, so?” Levi asked.
“I don’t get it,” Omri explained. He pointed to the sky. “Why should he care if we use a little carving of a bird or a cow to imagine what he might be like?” “Is he a bird or a cow?” Levi’s face showed his confusion. “Well… no.” “Is he a fish?” “No,” Omri answered. “What is he, then?”
“He’s the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! He’s the God of all our people.” “But what does he look like?” Levi asked.
“How am I supposed to know?” Omri answered. “I’ve never seen him.”
Levi shrugged. “Neither have I. And Moses says he can be anywhere and everywhere all at the same time. I don’t know any fish or birds that can do that. So maybe making pictures or statues would distort our worship.”
Omri looked thoughtful, but unconvinced.
“Look at it this way,” Levi suggested. “How would you like for me to make a statue of a goat and say it looks like you?”
“Yeah, right,” Omri countered. “Me, a goat?”
“Yeah, you’re right. You don’t smell quite that nice,” Levi said, as he jumped to his feet and ran away to avoid the pebbles Omri threw in his direction.
REFLECT: When God gave the Ten Commandments to the Israelites, the nations all around them worshiped false gods in the form of bulls, hawks, men, women—even frogs! What do you think their lives were like without God? Why do you think God commanded his people to worship him without making idols? What do you think the second commandment reveals about God? (Clue: Check out John 4:24.)
PRAY: “God, I may not be able to see and touch you the way I might see and touch a statue or a picture, but I thank you that I can learn about you and know you in other ways, like______________.”
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