True Power

True Power

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


"I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD, WHO BROUGHT YOU OUT OF EGYPT, OUT OF THE LAND OF SLAVERY. YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER gods BEFORE ME. YOU SHALL NOT MAKE FOR YOURSELF AN IDOL (any graven image)in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them: for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and forth generation of those who hate me, but showidng love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments." Exodus 20:1-6

When a minister would go off on a tantrum telling the listening congregation that they have made an idol out of their automobile or their home, I would have to force myself not to roll my eyes. Then the minister would go on to throw all kinds of nick-knack paddy-whack into the mix as everyone was shouting and agreeing with him that "they" or "others" had made idols out of possessions. Okay, sometimes I am bad, but I reflect on my actions and seek truth to become a better person. From eye rolling to "idol" study come on this journey with me.

The word graven is Hebrew (pacal or pecel) meaning to carve, whether wood or stone , hew, carved image. There is no Hebrew definition for the word 'image' that follows the word 'graven' in the King James Bible in Exodus 20:4. Even though throughout the Bible there are 12 specific definitions for the use of the word 'image'; a pinpoint definition is not given by scholars in the Exodus usage. I checked to see if the substituted word 'idol' used in the New Internation Version of the Bible (NIV)had a definition and it also was not listed.

Thankfully the passage is clear enough that no further defining is necessary. Nothing carved out of stone or wood in any image of anything in heaven, on earth, or in the water should be made and bowed down to or worshipped. I guess we should look at the true definition of worship to have a complete study for my upcoming commentary.

KJV of the Bible uses the word 'serve' (and not worship like the NIV Bible)in this passage = Hebrew (abad). It gets a little complicated after that, because the prime root means to work (in any sense) to serve, till, enslave. Serve is used 227 x's, do 15 x's till 9 x's, servant 5 x's, work 5 x's, worshippers 5 x's service 4 x's, dress 2 x's labour 2 x's and miscellaneously 14 x's meaning bem keep in bondage, be bondmen, bond-service, compel, execute, husbandman, keep, be wrought. As a verb it means to serve, cultivate, enslave, work.

So the passage means we are not to bow down, work for, till for, be enslaved by, any graven image.

I will propose to you that it is not the carved image itself, (but it is the beginning), but our actions towards the carved image. We pledge our allegiance to it, we give ourselves in labor and deed to it. We wait on its command to us as in a servant and master relationship. The car, then for me, is not the idol but the one we listen to for our instruction and whose bidding we do telling us which material things (i.e. THE CAR)we must work for and have, which possession to love and admire once we have them it the true 'idol'. The worshipped thing or one tells us which possessions are worth killing for or dying for. The idol instructs us that our worth will be and can be counted as how much of the goods we have and how long we work and how hard we work to have them?

The idol, the golden calf, has always been man made; it was only given power when men believed it had the answers and looked to it to solve problems.

Enter the age of internet. It has the power to give instant fame. It can answer all questions. We work harder and longer to have more and better access to it. It is the source of all information. We are getting to the point where we are unable to function without it. It blesses those who can afford it and leaves others behind who cannot get it. It is great. It has changed the world. The only question to ask is DOES THE INTERNET SERVE US OR DO WE SERVE IT?

Remember the idol is worshipped by you. It is not the origin of evil it is the human that possess the corrupting power. We are allowing internet to raise our kids and head our lives. We cannot eat, socailize, or fuction without going into this cyber space.

BALANCE is key people. No one needs to lead a crusade to get rid of internet and computers, but just be aware of where your security in life lies. That with internet or without it you live - love - learn and continue to grow. Remember life does not begin or end with internet as we have come to believe. And mostly it should not be your source of evil as many use it to curse out or torment others with anonymously.

Just be mindful, the internet does not become your new idol, your new god.


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