Do not worship idols in the four ways we worship G-d

The Literal Commandment

You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. (Exodus 20:4-6)

 

The literal commandment is that we should not worship idols.

 

Messiah Says

After fasting in the wilderness for forty days, Messiah Yeshua is tempted by the devil. One of the temptations He face was to fall down and worship the devil in exchange for "all the kingdoms of the world and their glory".

The Master resists this temptation and responds by quoting the positive form of this commandment from Deuteronomy:

You shall fear the LORD your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name. (Deuteronomy 10:20)

 

The devil was tempting Yeshua to sin to worship him.  Yeshua knew worshipping anyone or anything except the One True G-d was a sin so He resisted the enemy's scheme.

 

Pictures of Messiah

Messiah declares "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." (John 14:6)

When we are commanded not to worship idols it is because such a pursuit is fruitless and only serves to turn us away from the truth and the way we come to know G-d: worshiping Him.

Idols are nothing. Scripture describes idols in this way:

Thus says the LORD, "Do not learn the way of the nations, And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens Although the nations are terrified by them; For the customs of the peoples are delusion; Because it is wood cut from the forest, The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool. They decorate it with silver and with gold; They fasten it with nails and with hammers So that it will not totter. Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, And they cannot speak; They must be carried, Because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, For they can do no harm, Nor can they do any good." (Jeremiah 10:2-5)

 

These commandments prohibiting idolatry picture Messiah by pointing to idols and telling us He is not like them.

 

How Messiah Fulfilled

Messiah fulfilled this commandment by not worshiping idols.

 

Traditional Observance

There are four ways that we are commanded in Scripture to worship G-d. It is in these four ways that we are prohibited from worshiping idols:

  • ritually slaying a sacrifice
  • burning a ritual substance on an altar
  • pouring a libation [of wine]
  • prostrating oneself

 

By using the term "worship" in this prohibition, these four forms of true worship are brought into view and forbidden for us to perform towards an idol.

This commandment is traditionally observed by not performing any of these four acts towards an idol.

 

Other Notes

We are able to fulfill this commandment today by not worshiping idols (whether they are wood, iron, stone, or any material) in these four ways. Any object that is deemed to be a "god" or a representation of a "god" (including the One True God) is an idol and, as the apostle Paul exhorts us, we should flee from such things (1 Corinthians 10:14).

 

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Commandment Details

  • Mishneh Torah # 28
  • Mishneh Torah Book # 1
  • Mishneh Torah Book Knowledge
  • Mishneh Torah Category 4- Idolatry and Gentile Customs
  • Reference Exodus 20:5
  • Scripture Book Exodus
  • Chapter 20
  • Verse 5
  • English You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,
  • Hebrew ד לֹא-תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לָהֶם, וְלֹא תָעָבְדֵם: כִּי אָנֹכִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, אֵל קַנָּא--פֹּקֵד עֲו‍ֹן אָבֹת עַל-בָּנִים עַל-שִׁלֵּשִׁים וְעַל-רִבֵּעִים, לְשֹׂנְאָי.
  • Greek 5 οὐ προσκυνήσεις αὐτοῖς οὐδὲ μὴ λατρεύσῃς αὐτοῖς· ἐγὼ γάρ εἰμι κύριος ὁ θεός σου, θεὸς ζηλωτὴς ἀποδιδοὺς ἁμαρτίας πατέρων ἐπὶ τέκνα ἕως τρίτης καὶ τετάρτης γενεᾶς τοῖς μισοῦσίν με
  • Parashah 17- Yitro
  • Positive/Negative Negative
  • Sefer Hachinuch # 28
  • Sef. Hach. Command Not to prostrate oneself in idol worship
  • Category Idolatry
  • We can fullfill today Yes

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