The Second Commandment states that we are not to make, bow to or serve images created to represent God (i.e., an idol) (Exodus 20:4-6). You may say that you did not violate this commandment for you have no images that you worship. However, recall from Commandment Number Ten (1) that covetousness or greed is a form of idolatry (Colossians 3:5). That is, anything that we desire or value more than the one true God becomes an idol to us! Consequently, this means even good things can become idols if we value them more than God. So, do you have any idols in your life? What is it you run toward when you are in emotional pain and desire comfort? If your answer is anything but the one true God then you are worshipping an idol. If You Can't Say Amen, Say Oh Me!
Examples of this would be if we bow before images that represent the one true God as if it is God (e.g., a cross) (Exodus 32:4-8), if we value the Bible more than God the author of the Bible, if we value the church more than the God that established the church, or if we value our families more than the God that created families, etc. That is, what is it that you are spending the majority of your waking thoughts, desires, and actions upon? Another way of asking this is, what has taken the place of God in your life? Is it a sport or sports team, university, hobby, education, degrees, certifications, promotions, car, other possessions, house, children, potential mate, your mate, celebrity, or retirement, etc? Again, do we value our jobs more than God? How many hours a week do you spend at work compared to the time you spend with God? Could it be that your company, job or the next promotion is your idol? (Matthew 6:24. 1 Timothy 6:9,10) You can be sure that your company will not be as full of grace, mercy, and compassion as the God of Heaven and Earth (Jonah 2:8). Yes, they all will certainly gather around to applaud as you "burn your candle at both ends" admiring the flames; however, when you burn out what will they do? Nevertheless, take heart as these injustices committed by corporations has not gone unnoticed by the Lord of the Armies of Heaven (1).
The Law of Consequence for Violating the Commandment
Again, when we chose to value anything or anyone more than the one true God then that becomes an idol to us (Psalms 96:4,5). In addition, there is a spiritual law that you become like what you worship (Psalms 115:4-8). That is what we value or treasure is what will fill our spiritual hearts(1) and change us from the inside out (Matthew 6:21. Matthew 12:34,35). For example, if you worship a god that requires you to earn his approval by your performance then you will become legalistic and judgmental (i.e., a hater) of others and will require them to please you by their performance. Furthermore, this can happen even if you worship the one true God via His unique Son the Lord Jesus Christ but have a wrong understanding of Him (1) (John 4:23,24). For example, have you ever known someone that has idolized (i.e., worshiped) a celebrity and they took on the behavior of that person? Interesting that several decades back we referred to Hollywood actors as stars but now we call them idols!
Realize you are joined spiritually to whatever you worship. Furthermore, if you worship anything but the one true God then your spiritual heart is joined to Satan the god of this age (2 Corinthians 4:3,4) via his spiritual army of demons (Deuteronomy 32:16,17. Psalms 106:36-38. 1 Corinthians 10:14,19,20,21). When you give Satan worship you typically experience temporary pleasure (Hebrews 11:25) but that is only the bait to capture you in a cyclic trap of cursing (Deuteronomy 28:15-68) where he will steal, kill and destroy your life (John 10:10. 1 Peter 5:8).
Furthermore, he will obtain the right to similarly curse the lives of your children, your grandchildren, your great-grandchildren and even your great, great grandchildren (Exodus 20:5) (i.e., to the third and fourth generations). Realize, that our children will suffer for our sin while on Earth (Jeremiah 32:18); however, they will NOT be sent to Hell for our sin (2 Kings 14:6. 2 Chronicles 25:4). That is, everyone will have the opportunity to accept the Lord Jesus Christ(1) as their personal Savior independent of the choices of their parents or others (Romans 10:11-13). However, these "generational" curses can be broken(1) if our sin is repented and/or the sin of our ancestors renounced, forgiveness received and the curse (i.e., demon(s)) commanded to leave in Jesus' authority(2). That is, the curse cannot stay where the legal rights given by our sin or the sin of our ancestors have been removed (Proverbs 26:2).
To be precise in my communication, what I am NOT saying is that ALL bad things that happen to us are the result of our sins or the sins of our ancestors. We live in a fallen world (1) with bad things happening to good people along with a spiritual enemy that will utilize every opportunity to kill, steal and destroy you and your family through whatever means that he can. What I am saying is that he might gain access to curse you through trauma (e.g., an accident), violent acts committed against you, generational sins or your own sins(2).
Our God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5). God's jealousy can be described as an intense concern for something or someone, believing that these are, or might be, left to the wrongful advantage of another person. God created mankind for Himself and He is jealous of the covenant relationship which He purposed with each one of us, an intimacy lost through sin. However, He has determined, through Jesus, to provide a rescue for us from the false friendship of the ruler of the world. He has made a way back to His family, just as a bridegroom would be rightfully jealous of his bride being seduced by another, and would fight to win her back. This is the godly jealousy which Paul felt for those whom he had brought to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2). (3)
Unfortunately, most human jealousy is the result of our carnality claiming an entitlement to have what we see others possess. God has called each of His children to be content with His provision for our lives (Philippians 4:11), for He alone truly knows our needs (Matthew 6:25-34). He does not condone the poverty which society has allowed through sin, nor does He condemn those who seek to better their standard of living, but this needs to be done with eyes fixed on Him and not on the apparent advantages enjoyed by our neighbor (1) (Exodus 20:17). There is no peace in wrongful jealousy. In fact, unresolved envy can be deeply damaging to the whole body (Proverbs 14:30). God wants us to be free from these negative passions, although Paul says that God will even use the jealousy of the Jews towards Gentile believers, to bring the children of Israel back into true relationship with Him (Romans 11:11). By our confessing envy and through receiving God`s forgiveness, we can know His healing and be content in the abundance of life which has been promised by Jesus. (3)
The Opportunity of Blessing for Keeping the Commandment
If we worship the one true God then He will respond with a blessing upon blessing in our lives (Deuteronomy 28:1-14. Psalms 103) and He will bless our families to a THOUSAND generations (Exodus 20:6). Furthermore, understanding that we take on the attributes of whatever we worship; therefore, we must persevere in the Christian Disciplines(1) in order to see God as He really is so that we can become truly like Him (1 John 3:2. 1 Corinthians 13:12. 2 Corinthians 3:18). When we really understand in our spiritual hearts that Jesus performed perfectly, while in a human body on Earth, in order to earn God's pleasure for us then we will stop trying to please Him by our performance and simply live to bring Him pleasure. Then we will stop being haters and learn to be perfect lovers just like our Heavenly Father (Exodus 34:5-7. Matthew 5:43-48). Then the world will see the true nature of the invisible God through the lives of His children (John 13:35. 1 John 4:9-12).
Lastly, 1 John 5:21. 1 Timothy 1:17. (4)
(1) Left click on the underlined phrase to open another article in a different tab with more explanation.
(2) This article has provided a very brief overview of dealing with generational sins. For further understanding and freedom please read:
Healing through Deliverance by Peter Horrobin published by Ellel Ministries
(3) Adapted from "Jealousy: Good and Bad" by David Cross, Seeds of the Kingdom Daily Devotional March 7, 2014, Ellel Ministries International https://seedsofthekingdom.org/devotionals/2051/jealousy:-good-and-bad.php
(4) See also: Seeds of the Kingdom Daily Devotional August 2, 2016, Worthless Idols! by Peter Horrobin of Ellel Ministries International http://www.seedsofthekingdom.com/devotionals/2952/worthless-idols.php