What is the second commandment?

The second commandment is that “you shall not make for yourself a carved image.” This may sound absurd and that’s because it is. Think about this:

A man goes into the woods and cuts down a tree. He cuts up that tree and uses some of it for firewood and some of it to make an image to worship. That man is praying to the same tree he cut down and cooked dinner on and is asking it for help. The tree couldn’t even keep itself from being cut down, so how will it help that man?

God is so much more complex – so much greater – than anything we could ever make with our hands. Isaiah 66:1 says, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Heaven is My throne, and earth is My footstool. Where is the house that you would build Me? And where is the place of My rest?’” The ways of God and the thoughts of God are far beyond our comprehension. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). Therefore, it is just plain foolishness to think that a finite person could make anything that could resemble or contain an infinite God.