IMAGE: A reproduction or imitation of the form of a person or thing, An exact likeness, To Imitate.
From the very beginning God has conversed with man by His Spirit and man heard His voice, but His image was never seen…….. No man has seen God at any time. (1 John 4:12-16). God feels very strongly about anyone setting up a statue or image (Picture), for to Him it is serving another god other than Him! The Ten Commandments are still in effect as though Moses has just carried them down from the mount. (Exodus 20:3-19) Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 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. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: 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; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s. And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die….. (Deuteronomy 4:16-20).
For those who think it is just a harmless thing to have pictures of who they have been taught is Jesus, we know there were no cameras let alone paint invented for paintings to be images of Jesus many generations ago. Do pictures really upset God? We do read in scripture of the practice of what molten images and pictures were depicted as idolatry when the children of Israel were passing over Jordan to the Promised Land that they were told to destroy all pictures and molten images out of the land. (Numbers 33:50-56). And the Lord spake unto Moses in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan; Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it. And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man’s inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit. But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.
We cannot take lightly the commandments as though what was written by the finger of God in stone has not the meaning for our time as it did so many generations ago. Jesus said if we love Him we will keep His commandments. (John 14:15). Jesus kept His Fathers commandments and we should also do the same. (John 15:10-12). If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
As Christians we live by FAITH and we need not have an image to believe in our Saviour, for our faith is the evidence of things not seen yet we believe! (Hebrews 11:1). Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.