What is obvious to you about the world situation?

  • What is obvious to you about your wife? Only positive answers, please!  J
  • Why are certain things not always as obvious to others as they are to you, and vice-versa?
  • To you, what is obvious about idol worship?

As we saw last time in Exodus 20:1-3, the First Commandment tells us to worship only one God, The Lord, their God.  The Second commandment warns against making and worshipping idols either as a representation of God or as a separate entity from the God of Israel. 

If we look at Exodus 20:4-6 carefully, we discover “The Obvious about Idols.”  


Exodus 20:4 – 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:

  • Traditionally, what is an idol?
  • “An idol is a substitute for God and therefore not a god, for there is only one true and living God.” – Warren Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary/Pentateuch, (Colorado Springs, CO, 2001) p. 221
  • How can these things listed below be made idols by us? What forms do they take?

o       sports/hunting

o       sex/sexual fantasy/ pornography

o       work

o       another person

o       acceptance

o       position

o       the home/yard

o       a hobby

o       children/grandchildren

o        television/internet

o        alcohol/drugs

o        food 

  • What would you add to this list? 
  • Why do we have admit that every one of these things is created by us? 


Exodus 20:4 – 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:

  • Exodus 32:1-7 is an example of the formation of an idol. Notice that the idol was something that the people could see.  Most idols are things which people see and, at least on some level, understand.
  • Notice also that when the idol was made by Aaron that right away he set down the rules for the idol worship.
  • Agree of disagree? “We like to worship idols because we worship them on our own terms.”
  • Is there any difference between worshipping gods and idols? Psalms 96:5 – For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the LORD made the heavens. 


Exodus 20:5 – Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them…

  • How do we “bow down” to our idols?
  • How do we serve our idols?
  • How do our idols serve us?
  • How do we know when we have an “idol problem”? 


Exodus 20:5 – …for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God…

  • What right has God to be jealous?
  • What more right has God to be jealous towards us Christians than unbelievers?
  • React to the following verses in relation to idols: 
  • Isaiah 42:8 – I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
  • Jeremiah 31:3 – The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
  • 2 Corinthians 5:14-15 – For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
  • Psalms 81:9-10 – There shall no strange god be in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god. I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
  • 1 John 5:21 – Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen. 


Exodus 20:5 – …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;

  • One generation suffers for the sins of previous generations.  We sin and others suffer.  How have you seen this work?
  • This being said, we have some assurance from Ezekiel 18:20 – The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
  • In reference to Exodus 20:5, Alistair Begg said, in part, “We should not miss that the fact this is not a word of judgment to be pronounced upon the children but a word of warning provided for the parents. Fathers and mothers are called upon to count the cost of the effect their sin will have upon their families…All sin has a ‘domino’ effect, and parents ought to ponder the punishment their children will face for their own sins, which they have learned from the sorry example of their parents.” Alistair Begg, Pathway to Freedom, How God’s laws Guide our Lives, (Chicago, Moody Publishers, 2003), p.70 


Exodus 20:6 – And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

  • God wants to give us His best, his mercy or “steadfast love” (ESV). 
  • Remember God wants to bless our children with the same mercy. He most likely will if we set the example!
  • When we worship idols we only hurt ourselves.