Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
In the Gates

Worship and Imagination

The Second Commandment

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The Commandment

God is holy, and He calls His people to be holy by worshiping and serving Him only. He will allow no admixture of pagan practices in the worship and service of His Name, nothing that reduces His immensity, restricts His sovereignty, compromises His holiness, obscures His uniqueness, or otherwise profanes His Name.

Exodus 20.4-6

You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.”

Deuteronomy 5.8-10

“‘You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.’”

1 Corinthians 10.14; 1 John 5.21

The eye of the heart (Eph. 1.18), or the eye of faith, is a particular use of our imaginative souls to engage unseen realities in exalting, sustaining, and transforming ways. Informed by the teaching of Scripture and engaged through discipline and worship with the glory of God, we soar, by means of the eye of the heart, into realms beyond description, where our experience of God cannot be captured in forms or words, but comes to expression in a love that exceeds knowledge and that fills us with all the fullness of God (Eph. 3.19).

Any depictions of God – in word, music, or other form – that do not conform to Scripture’s use of such devices, or that do not encourage and expansive vision of unseen things, cripple the eye of the heart rather than engage it, keeping it from functioning as it should and making us dependent in our worship on created things rather than God Himself.

We shall have more to say about the proper way of worshiping God as we unpack the rules and statutes which attend the second commandments.

This series of In the Gates we present a detailed explanation of the Law of God, beginning with the Ten Commandments, and working through the statutes and rules that accompany each commandment. For a practical guide to the role of God’s Law in the practice of ethics, get The Ground for Christian Ethics

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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