Do not make yourself an idol — the meaning and explanation of the second commandment
The idol is everything that leads a person away from the worship of one god. This is called idolatry. At different times, people created themselves various idols and worshiped them.
The second commandment reads: Do not make yourself an idol. What does this commandment mean, and what consequences can there be if it is broken? Let’s consider this question from the point of view of Orthodoxy.
I will give you examples of modern idols in our world, explain the meaning of idols in human life in comparison with the golden calf as an idol to worship the Israelites. Also consider the question of how to avoid idolatry in life.
What are the idols
For the modern man, the word “idol” is not entirely clear, therefore, we first consider its meaning. This is a person or an object whose worship becomes the meaning of life. Who can be an idol in modern life?
First of all, you yourself. Some people are so absorbed in attention to their own person that they forget about everything around.
That is why God and was given the commandment of idols.
An idol can be an object of passion — a person or object. Some people fall in love with someone so much that they just lose their head from adoration and forget about everything.
For the sake of the idol, they can sacrifice themselves and even commit suicide. That’s how dangerous it is to create idols for yourself.
The same applies to objects: you can simply subdue all your life in pursuit of some kind of artifact or household thing (car).
We are given the commandment of love of neighbor, but not the creation of an object of worship from it.
Our dreams and fantasies can become an idol if we passionately indulge in it day and night. At this time, we lose the sense of God and his grace. For example, a person can passionately dream of getting rich, and for the sake of this dream is ready to go over their heads.
Someone may dream of achieving a high position in society, and for the sake of it loses remnants of conscience. These are all idols of our time.
So, the idol is all that is opposed to God in strength and power. It can be:
- the science;
- position in society;
- having an idea;
- attachment to something or anyone.
Even a fierce enemy to whom a person seeks revenge can become an idol. Day and night, he develops a plan for revenge, forgetting the commandment of love of neighbor and forgiveness.
He places his enemy above the law of God, and blindly goes on about his own hatred.
Therefore, the commandment “Do not make yourself an idol” teaches a person to explore his heart in order to find in it a sinful attachment to earthly things and ordinary people.
The bible describes a story in which we can see how the people of Israel violated God’s commandments. When Moses was on Mount Sinai and received guidance from God himself, the people managed to create an object of worship for themselves — the golden calf.
How did the Israelites manage to do this? Moses had been on the mountain for too long in their opinion, so they decided to cast off the golden calf and declare it to be their god.
When Moses descended from Mount Sinai, he angrily broke stone tablets, on which the law of God was written — the 10 commandments. After universal repentance of sin, the patriarch again climbed the mountain to talk with the Lord. At this time, God showed miracles — thunder, lightning, a storm.
However, no thunder could drown out the voice of God, which blocked any loud sounds. Moses was given the second tablets with recorded commandments.
Meaning of the commandment
Do not make yourself an idol — the second commandment in the law of God, which follows logically from the first. The first commandment establishes who the Lord God is for people on earth. Observing the first commandment requires a person to devote his entire life to serving the one and only Lord of earth and heaven.
However, the Lord further warns that the idol is the negation of the first commandment. If a person devotes his life not to God, but to someone else, this is considered a violation of both commandments: the first and second.
The Lord is the creator of the universe, he is one, and there is no one like him. If a person departs from understanding this statement, he falls into the sin of breaking the commandment. In delusions, a person can rely on other deities — idols, — forgetting about his Creator.
This we see from the history of ancient Russia, when people asked for help from the fire or wind. They worshiped the host of gods, the whole pantheon.
But the universe did not create a host of gods, it has the only creator — the Lord.
An idol can be any desire of a person, not just a wooden idol.
You will say that modern people do not worship the sun and wind. This is true.
But nowadays wooden idols have replaced virtual passions and vicious desires. A man overwhelmed with lust is capable of any vile deeds to satisfy his desires..
This is idolatry. Few people realize the perniciousness of falling into the PreEst, because they do not consider it an idol. They think that if they do not worship a wooden idol or a mask, they do not sin.
This is a dangerous delusion.
An even bad habit that a person cannot part with can become an idol. Nowadays, it is smoking, drugs, passion for debate, dependence on the Internet, attachment to diets and even a healthy lifestyle. Idols can be:
A proud man relies only on himself and his mind, he is sickened by the reverence of someone else. Do not create yourself an idol of himself!
Most people do not understand this. The covetousness is closely connected with pride — this is when a person is dependent on money.
He becomes so greedy for enrichment that, except for money, he does not notice anything around.
The Orthodox Church talks a lot and in detail about gluttony. This is not just to satisfy hunger, but a thirst to eat food in huge quantities. Another type of gluttony is addiction to delicacies and exquisite taste.
Remember that every piece of food eaten in excess of the position turns into an idol.
Modern people are so passionate about themselves that they seek to get rid of any restrictions. They believe that the commandments of God aggravate them, and so difficult situation, seek to dismiss these holy words. However, the commandments protect us from spiritual problems, protect us from dangers.
Compliance with the commandments will save from cases that can lead to diseases and serious consequences.
People think that if they do not rob anyone and do not kill, then they have no sin either. It’s a delusion.
Do not create yourself an idol — in the Bible a sin is clearly marked, into which a person can fall by ignorance. Therefore, God warns us to be attentive to the thoughts of our heart, so as not to fall into charm.
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