Sermon Seeds: No Idols


You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God (Exodus 20:4-5a, NIV).

Confession. I’ve never quite understood the concept of a jealous God. Attributing jealousy to the Almighty, Omnipotent, Creator of the universe, seemed at the least odd and even demeaning.

Too human.

Thinking of God as jealous conjured up memories of spurned girlfriends and boyfriends on the school playground, or the yucky feeling I got when my brother got the attention and accolades from our parents that I was craving.

Surely, God is bigger than that, isn’t he?

Yes. And perhaps the problem comes because we don’t read the complete definition of jealous. We miss the part of the definition that says: fiercely protective or vigilant of one’s rights or possessions.

If we look to the intro of this passage, Exodus 20:2, we see that God identifies himself as the Lord God who rescued the people from slavery in Egypt. Paul describes God’s action as having bought us (1 Corinthians 6:20). The story of Hosea and how he bought back his wife is the metaphor for what God has done, and continues to do for his people.

And he is fiercely protective of his possessions. There is some incredibly good news in this. It’s why we can read the 23rd Psalm and feel good, or think of the warm welcome of the Prodigal and feel hope.

But every choice will bring consequences—good or bad. So, choosing to worship anything other than God will incur his wrath and discipline.

We get into trouble by “worshiping anything that ought to be used or using anything that ought to be worshiped (St. Augustine).” For example material possessions, knowledge, sex, science, or political parties. These things grab our devotion, our time, our attention.

Jesus spoke to our twisted tendency in his sermon on the mount: your heart will be where your treasure is (Matthew 6:21). What we passionately pursue becomes our treasure, it supersedes our relationship with God and is an idol.

And God says, “Don’t do it.”

As we work our way through these ten commands, we will see that God wants us to basically get two relationships in proper perspective: our relationship with him, and our relationship with others. No other God except him—God the Creator, not anything we would try to put in his place.


Message Meme: Exodus 20:4

I like watching things. I’m amazed by color. I have Missouri in my DNA: show me.

I took a course aimed at improving my blogging, and the emphasis was on adding pictures. So I would scour Google images until I found the perfect image to accompany my words.

Then I went to another writers conference and the faculty person warned us (scared the pants off us) to not use Google images because they could be pirated. Instead we were to use sites with free images, like pixabay.

I broke up with google immediately.

At that same conference, I learned how to create my own memes.

Hi, I’m Tina and I’m hooked: WordSwag, Canva, and PicCollage are my new best friends.

During the recent Advent season, I created memes that went with each Sunday’s message. Memes that would fit computer/iPad screens, phone screens, and covers for blogs or facebook. It was a way to get the message theme or scripture in front of the people every day.

We’re into a new message series on the Ten Commandments Jesus Style: Finding the Old in the New.

Since the first commandment is to not have any gods but God, I drew on Joshua’s calling the people back to their covenant relationship with God—putting him first. So this was last week’s message meme:


This week we move onto the second commandment: you must not make an idol of any kind.

Here’s the memes I made to go along with this commandment:

Come back Friday and we’ll consider just what “making an idol” means.


%d bloggers like this: