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…
I. Reverently, let us remember that the LORD IS EXCEEDINGLY JEALOUS OF HIS DEITY. The whole history of the human race is a record of the wars of the Lord against idolatry. The right hand of the Lord hath dashed in pieces the enemy and cast the ancient idols to the ground. Behold the heaps of Nineveh! Search for the desolations of Babylon! Look upon the broken temples of Greece! See the ruins of Pagan Rome! Journey where you will, you behold the dilapidated temples of the gods and the ruined empires of their foolish votaries. The Lord hath made bare His arm and eased Him of His adversaries, for Jehovah, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God. With what jealousy must the Lord regard the great mass of the people of this country, who have another god beside Himself! Even believers may be reproved on this subject. God is very jealous of His Deity in the hearts of His own people.
II. THE LORD IS JEALOUS OF HIS SOVEREIGNTY. He that made heaven and earth has a right to rule His creatures as He wills.
1. This reminds us of the Lord's hatred of sin. Every time we sin, we do as much as say, "I do not acknowledge God to be my Sovereign; I will do as I please."
2. Surely if sin attacks the sovereignty of God, self-righteousness is equally guilty of treason: for as sin boasts, "I will not keep God's law," self-righteousness exclaims, "I will not be saved in God's way; I will make a new road to heaven."
III. THE LORD IS JEALOUS OF HIS GLORY. God's glory is the result of His nature and acts.
1. How, careful, then, should we be when we do anything for God, and God is pleased to accept of our doings, that we never congratulate ourselves. The worms which ate Herod when he gave not God the glory are ready for another meal; beware of vain glory!
2. How careful ought we to be to walk humbly before the Lord. The moment we glorify ourselves, since there is room for one glory only in the universe, we set ourselves up as rivals to the Most High.
3. Let us see to it that we never misrepresent God, so as to rob Him of His honour. If any minister shall preach of God so as to dishonour Him, God will be jealous against that man.
IV. In the highest sense, THE LORD IS JEALOUS OVER HIS OWN PEOPLE.
1. The Lord Jesus Christ, of whom I now speak, is very jealous of your love, O believer.
2. He is very jealous of your trust. He will not permit you to trust in an arm of flesh.
3. He is also very jealous of our company. It were well if a Christian could see nothing but Christ.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
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: