Date: Thu, 9 Mar 1995 11:05:42 +0100 Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From: Teus Benschop Subject: Catechism, 7 Q: Which is the second commandment? A: The second commandment is, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thy self to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." How is this commandment structured? - It says what is forbidden to *make*: any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is 1. in heaven above, 2. in the earth beneath, 3. in the water under the earth. - It says what is forbidden to *serve*: you shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them. - It gives the *reason* why such things are forbidden: for I the Lord your God am a jealous God. - It *threatens* the transgressor: God is visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Him. - It promises *mercy* to the obedient: God is showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Q: What is required in the second commandment? A: The second commandment requireth the receiving, observing, and keeping pure and entire, all such religious worship and ordinances as God hath appointed in his Word. When God commanded to read His Word each day, the obedient will do that. "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." (Ps.1:1,2) When God commanded to go up to the assembly, to hear His Word, the obedient will do that, and not forsake now and then. "Enter into his (God's) gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name." (Ps.100:4) God commanded to pray unto Him. His people will do so. "Pray without ceasing." (1 Thess.5:17) The righteous will give thanks unto God, when they are delivered from dangers, or even, when they get their daily livelihood from Him. "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;" (Eph.5:20) God said that we not need to be worried about the things, but that we trust Him. The righteous will do so, and the peace of God will fill their hearts. "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." (Philip.4:6) Q: What is forbidden in the second commandment? A: The second commandment forbiddeth the worshipping of God by images, or any other way not appointed in his Word. All worship, invented by people, is forbidden. Invented worship involves serving God by images, serving Him according to our own thoughts, serving Him using human institutions not appointed in His Word, etc. The Bible explicitly forbids this. "Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear towards me is taught by the precept of men." (Isa.29:13) They feared the LORD by the precept of men, and not by the holy precept of the Word. "Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." (Mark 7:7) Examples of transgressions are: - Idolatry, serving images, which is a course transgression. - Adding human inventions unto the service of God. - Self-willed worship. - Hypocrisy, that is, doing as if, but without the heart. - Godlessness, that is the despising of God and His Word. An example of idolatry is the service of the Torah-scroll, instead of the service of the God Who gave the Torah. A common objection is that the people serve God by this means. This however shows the more that it is a self-willed worship, without any Scriptural base. The Scripture commands to *read* the Torah, not to *worship* it. Q: What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment? A: The reasons annexed to the second commandment are, God's sovereignty over us, his propriety in us, and the zeal he hath to his own worship. God has sovereignty over us, for He is King of the world. Every creature has to serve Him, according to His will. "Let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven." (Ps.148:13) "And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever." (Rev.5:13) The zeal He has to His own worship does exclude other gods. All honour which the people give to another god, or something else, is forbidden. "For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:" (Exod.34:14) Some make their belly their god, and serve it. They give it all delicious food, like the pagans give to their gods. They spend much time in preparing a good meal, and take a long time to sit down and eat, while they vainly blabber about all kinds of things. However, they forget that God does not allow any other god besides Him. The second command forbids much more than simply the possession and the service of visible images. Who limits this command to only these things, wil transgress in much other things. While he thinks that he is righteous, concerning this commandment, he is in reality a transgressor and deserves the punishment. When you read the commandments cursorily, you might think that you are not so great a sinner. However, when you grasp the depth and the true meaning, then you will understand David, when he said: "And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified." (Ps.143:2) ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Tanach and the New Testament Editor: Teus Benschop - email@example.com No copyrights on this publication Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands End of Catechism, 7 -------------------------------------------------- file: /pub./resources/text/ipb-e/cate: cat-007.txt .