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.
No work of our hands can replace God—who He is and what He does and what He means to us. Nothing we can create could ever compare. Nothing we would make could capture the whole of all that an infinite God is. So we can’t substitute something else to represent Him. We can’t look to some object or some creature or even ourselves. That does nothing but take our eyes and our focus off of Him. Instead, His work of redemption should create in us a singular desire to love, honor, worship, and serve God alone. Learning about God and who He is as He reveals Himself should not compel us to make an idol, but to turn toward Him and seek the close communion He desires to have with us.
God is to be the sole object of our devotion. He is someone we cannot see or know fully, someone infinite and invisible, yet He is all around us, so close to us, dwelling in our hearts, and He is second to none in greatness and glory. So we are to worship God alone. He should have a place higher than everything else in our lives. He should have a special place reserved for Him alone. We should not try to make a substitute or bow down to an object or find something we can see that we can adore. But He promises that when we seek Him, we shall find Him.
When we make a god or make something into a god, we are saying, in essence, that God isn’t enough for us. We are saying we want another path, another way apart from Him. We’re saying we want to produce something ourselves to contribute, but that is impossible. God already created the heaven and the earth and everything therein. We don’t have to re-create a creature to worship when the Creator is inviting us to have a relationship with Him. We don’t have to settle for something that was made when we can look to the Maker of all things.
Worship is an attitude that starts in our hearts, so what is it that our hearts are most focused on? Is it something we’ve done, something we’ve made? Or are we looking to the one and only God? Is our gaze turned a little higher? Is that highest, most special place reserved for God alone? He commanded the Jews to have no other gods before Him. He commanded them to make no idols and worship no other. But really it’s about more than just obeying a command. It should be a heartfelt desire that goes soul-deep. It should be a longing for God alone with nothing in between. So may we truly worship Him alone.