Vespers – Spurgeon’s Question 46

You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the Lord your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.

  • Deuteronomy 4:15-16, 17-19

“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.

  • Acts 17:29

Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind.

  • Colossians 2:18

and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.” You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.
See that you do all I command you; do not add to it or take away from it.

  • Deuteronomy 12:30-32

The Larger Catechism’s Scripture Proofs:
1. Num. 15:39.
2. Deut. 13:6, 8
3. Hos. 5:11; Micah 6:16.
4. I Kings 11:33; I Kings 12:33.
5. Deut. 12:30, 32.
6. Deut. 4:15, 16; Acts 17:29; Rom. 1:21–25.
7. Gal. 4:8; Dan. 3:18.
8. Exod. 32:5.
9. Exod. 32:8.
10. I Kings 18:26, 28; Isa. 65:11.
11. Acts 19:19.
12. Mal. 1:7, 8, 14.
13. Deut. 4:2.
14. Ps. 106:39.
15. Matt. 15:9.
16. I Peter 1:18.
17. Jer. 44:17.
18. Isa. 65:3–5; Gal. 1:13, 14.
19. I Sam. 13:12; I Sam. 15:21.
20. Acts 8:18.
21. Rom. 2:22; Mal. 3:8.
22. Exod. 4:24–26.
23. Matt. 22:25; Mal. 1:7, 12, 13.
24. Matt. 23:13.
25. Acts 13:45; I Thess. 2:15, 16.

“Q. 46. What is forbidden in the Second Commandment?
“A. The Second Commandment forbids the worshipping of God by images (Deut. 4:15-16), or any other way not appointed in his Word. (Col. 2:18).”

  • Charles H. Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Catechism (Scripture proofs in bold above)

“Q. 51. What is forbidden in the Second Commandment?
“A. The Second Commandment forbiddeth the worshiping of God by images, or any other way not appointed in his Word.”

  • The Shorter Catechism (Westminster Assembly)

“Q. 109. What are the sins forbidden in the Second Commandment?
“A. The sins forbidden in the Second Commandment are: all devising, counseling, commanding, using, and any wise approving any religious worship not instituted by God himself; the making any representation of God, of all, or of any of the three Persons, either inwardly in our mind, or outwardly in any kind of image or likeness of any creature whatsoever; all worshiping of it, or God in it or by it; the making of any representation of feigned deities, and all worship of them, or service belonging to them; all superstitious devices, corrupting the worship of God, adding to it, or taking from it, whether invented and taken up of ourselves, or received by tradition from others, though under the title of antiquity, custom, devotion, good intent, or any other pretense whatsoever; simony, sacrilege; all neglect, contempt, hindering, and opposing the worship and ordinances which God hath appointed.”

  • The Larger Catechism (Westminster Assembly)

The Shorter and Spurgeon catechisms have the same wording, essentially, but the Shorter Catechism adds a few proofs.  As usual, the Larger Catechism is larger in detail and biblical proofs.  Due to the “largeness” of the Larger Catechism, each point having its on biblical proof, I just listed the Scripture references.

In the largeness of the Larger Catechism, there are a variety of ways in which we are forbidden to worship or ways in which worship of other images is not allowed.

Humankind has a very visual orientation.  Tactile orientation is important as well as hearing.  But God is a spirit and He does not have a body like man.  How then are we to worship Him?  The Bible pointed the way for the Israelites to worship.  There were various sacrifices and meticulous rules in regard to the ceremonies.  But to worship in truth these days is to be true to the nature in which God intended for us to worship.

We were made in the image of God.  Within us is a yearning to find our purpose.  If God had not imprinted His image upon mankind, then we would not be seeking that purpose, but the inner need to see, hear, and touch overpowers the feeling that there is something out there greater than us and the feeling that we have a purpose in life.

But in making something or buying it made by someone else, we negate the majesty and omnipotence of God.  We worship our money from buying or our own skills from making something that falls short of the image of God found within us, much less than God Himself.

In whatever way we can reverently approach the unseen God, we must do so without shifting our gaze to the left or right.

And now let us sing.

The following song is Image of God, sung by We Are Messengers.  Again, it may not be that familiar, but it points to God, and we are made in the image of God.  And maybe that is why we cannot and should not make something to worship in that we are made in God’s image.  The only one to worship is the Creator of all things.

I woke up with a broken heart in my chest
I couldn’t sleep couldn’t get no rest
Weighed down by the heaviness of life
And I try to shake it flipping through my phone
But all it does is make me feel more alone
How could anything that feels so wrong be right

Seven billion voices separate us
But only one can show us who we are

We are made
Made in the image of
Made in the image of God
Beautiful shades of love
We are made
Made in the image of
Made in the image of God
That’s where the light comes from

We all need the same medicine
We all need another second chance
There’s no first in line at the foot of the Cross

Father, forgive me
Show my concrete heart

We are made
Made in the image of
Made in the image of God
Beautiful shades of love
We are made
Made in the image of
Made in the image of God
That’s where the light comes from

We fall apart
We all lose sight of Heaven
But still Your love is chasing us
Give me a heart
For every heart that’s breaking
And give me eyes to see
We’re so much more than flesh and blood

We are
Made in the image of
Made in the image of God
We are made
Made in the image of
Made in the image of God
Beautiful shades of Love

We are made
Made in the image of
Made in the image of God
That’s where the light comes from
(Made in the image of, made in the image of)
That’s where the light comes from, yeah yeah”

  • Christopher Stevens, Bryan Fowler, Darren Mulligan, Image of God

Closing Prayer

Dear Lord,
We need You.  And we need to worship You properly, but most of all worship You.  Too many of us make communion with other Christians as being optional, when the weather isn’t so bad, when there isn’t a home game for the local team, and many other excuses.  We need to realize that worshipping You is not just on Sunday morning for an hour or an hour and a half.  We are to worship You throughout the week.  That is what makes those details in the Larger Catechism important.  There are forms of worship that we are ignoring.  Shall we tear our robes and fall down before You, Lord?  We fail you in the one thing that causes Your great pleasure when done properly and Your anger when done in the wrong spirit or done improperly,  Basically, I am asking, Lord, help us get it right.
In thy Name we pray.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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