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The 10 Commandments mini series: 2nd Commandment

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

Exodus 20:4-6

"You shall not make for yourself a carved image - 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 nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments."

Teraphim = תרפים = graven images / small carved stuctures / good luck charms.

Those who carried this items started to create a form of dependency on these teraphim. It’s easy for us to think that we don’t do the same thing today still - simply because we don’t carry items with us around. But fact of the matter is that our teraphim these days just look different, but we are still doing the exact same thing! And we don’t even know it!

Whenever we put our dependency on/in something such as money, security, other people, titles, social media, the list goes on… these things become idols in our hearts. Whenever our dependency is placed in something other than יהוה (God) Himself, we are in idolatry.

Anything we value higher than God’s Word and who He says we are - we have placed above Him. Which means that we are also breaking the first commandment. We prove our love for our King, by keeping the Commandments! In 1 John 5:3 we read “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”

Remember that this is written in the New Testament! The New Testament NEVER contradicts the Old Testament. When we think it does, it’s most likely based on a manmade tradition or our lack of understanding. The New Testament is the Old Testament revealed. And the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed!

Obedience is love.

The only way we can prove our love for our Father is through obedience to His instructions!

We all know the story of Rachel who married Jacob. When Rachel and Jacob (and his other wife, Leah - who was Rachel’s sister) left Laban (Rachel & Leah’s dad) - Rachel stole her father’s teraphim from his house.

Laban freaked out when he realised that the teraphim was stolen. As back in those times, they believed that there was no way to be successful by any means without those teraphim / idols. Not in business, relationships, harvest, etc - no success. Rachel was mad at her dad for giving Jacob Leah as his wife instead of Rachel. And then Jacob had to work longer to get to marry Rachel as well. Thus when she stole the idols, she did it as a means to destroy her father’s future success - as he was depending on these idols.

In today’s day and age, we might no longer have little graven images in our homes. But there are so many other things in our lives which we hold onto for dear life - having the false believe that it will give us success, sanity or a better life. The teraphim of this modern day would look much more like social media apps, fitness obsessions, reckless online shopping, idolising spouses / kids, ungodly friendships, etc. All of these becomes idols in our lives and we depend more on them then we depend on Abba.

An idol is anything we depend on to meet our deep foundational needs, such as love, security, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with meeting the needs of your spouse / kids / friends. However, we have to honestly assess the foundation of our lives and hearts.

If you strip away everything - your spouse, your kids, your job, your income, your title, your friends, your house, your phone, etc.... What will remain?

If your answer is “nothing” - you have idols in your heart which you have to repent for and lay down at Yeshua’s feet!

If everything in your life gets ripped away - your solid foundation in Yeshua should be able to stay steadfast! Our foundational needs for love, security, fulfilment, etc - should never be met by earthly things. Our foundational needs should be met by God Himself!

When God is the One Who meets our needs and fulfill us, we can live fulfilled lives regardless of how others treat us or what our circumstances look like!

Yeshua died on the cross and rose again so that our foundational needs could be met! He is the Rock of all Ages!

Life today does not look the way it did back in the times of the Bible. But idols are still just as present (if not more) in our lives today as they were back in the time of the Bible - they just go by different names these days.

In today’s day and age it’s so common to rely on the value we receive from the things we put online - the photos we share, the likes we get, etc... It literally changes our perception of reality! And it alters our sense of value as long as we are not securely rooted in Abba!

When we confess that we love God, our lives should reflect that!

Abba deserves to be in the superior position of our lives. It’s our repsonsibility to keep Him in that position - regardless of our circumstances or how good or bad things are looking in our lives!

Everything we seek for (knowingly and unknowingly) to succeed and prosper in life, is linked to keeping His commandments! His will and His ways will never change!

In Exodus 20:5-6 we see how blessing follows those who obey His commandments!

We care so much about what other people think about us and we don’t even realise that we are putting others on the throne where God needs to be in our lives!

We cannot claim to care what God thinks or say about us as long as we refuse to keep His instructions. By living a disobedient life we are literally proclaiming that we think we can do it better than He can and that we don’t trust Him to come through for us.

The breakthrough and victory we pray for in our lives are entirely dependant on our willingness to obey His instructions!

This commandment is also very clear that our actions and choices have an impact on future generations. Whether you are a parent / plan to become one in the future / aunt / uncle / grandparent / teacher, etc - our values are automatically taught to our children and the children whose lives we cross.

Your ways, values and belief systems will be passed onto future generations. What are you passing on?

The teraphim (idol) which you are carrying around in your life, you are placing in the pockets of the younger generation you get to do with. As long as we are holding onto idols, we are equiping (definitely not in a good way) the younger generation to also rely on idols - instead of on God! Whether we realise it or not, don’t change the fact that it’s the reality!

To grow into the Image and likeness of Yeshua our Messiah has everything to do with whether we are keeping His commandments or not.

There’s no grey area. You are either hot or cold. In Revelations 3:16 we read “So because you are lukewarm (spiritually useless), and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth [rejecting you with disgust].”

We have to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth! There’s no compromise in following Yeshua! John 4:24

If we want to set up ourselves and the coming generations up for success - we have to be in line with His instructions. If we want children and the future generations to be in line with His Ways - we must first get in line! It’s an intentional way of living for a much bigger picture and purpose than our own fleshly desires!

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