You shall not make to you any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath…
To set up an image to represent God is a debasing of the Deity, it is below God. If one should make images of snakes or spiders, saying he did it to represent his prince, would not the prince take this in high disdain? What greater disparagement to God, than to represent the infinite God by that which is finite, — the living God, by that which is without life, and the Maker of all, by a thing which is made?
1. To make a true image of God is impossible. What is invisible cannot be portrayed.
2. To worship God by an image is both absurd and unlawful.
(1) It is absurd and irrational; for, the workman is better than the work: "he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house." If the workman be better than the work, and none bow to the workman, how absurd then is it to bow to the work of his hands! Is it not an absurd thing to bow down to the king's picture, when the king himself is present? more so to bow down to an image of God, when God Himself is everywhere present.
(2) It is unlawful to worship God by an image; for it is against the homily of the Church; "the images of God, our Saviour, the Virgin Mary, are of all others the most dangerous; therefore the greatest care ought to be had that they stand not in temples and churches."Use: Take heed of idolatry, namely, image-worship.
(1) Get good principles, that you may be able to oppose the gainsayer.
(2) Get love to God.
(3) Pray God to keep you.
( T. Watson.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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: