“You shall not make for yourself any gods of cast metal.”
“Do not turn to idols or make for yourselves any gods of cast metal: I am the LORD your God.”
The pagan peoples around Israel did not necessarily believe that their gods inhabited the cast metal or wood carvings that bore their names. Their gods lived in trees, on hills and mountains, and in the mysterious places of the skies and earth. The carved images which they kept in their homes or on their persons were meant to be reminders of their gods, so that they might always give their deities appropriate worship, and have the assurance of their favor.
But Israel was not to make images, not even of the one true God. God reveals His glory in created things (Ps. 19.1-4). He is present with us and calls us to know, fear, love, serve, and worship Him by faith, without the aid of anything we might make. We must learn to discern the glory of God all around us so that we see His presence in the things He has made, and in the way He wants to be seen (Prov. 25.2).
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 by going to www.MyParuchia.com and click on our Book Store.