The Ark of the Covenant and 2nd Commandment

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PuritanCovenanter

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Staff member
I am just curious. How do we understand Exodus25:18-20 in light of Exodus 20:4? This is a question that has been on my mind for some time. I know one or two of you all should know how to answer this.

The passages are the command to make the images of Cherub on the mercy seat and the commandment to not make any graven images on the earth or in heaven.

I feel pressed to ask this in light of another thread about images used in worship. I know the seat was not worshipped nor was it an aid to worship. Was it?

I would be scared to use them as an aid to worship.

Randy



[Edited on 12-7-2004 by puritancovenanter]
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Randy,
God specifically commanded that the ark be built in this manner..........The command to not create has it's relevance in this statement:

Exo 20:4 "You shall not make for yourself a carved image......Men want to make for themselves images. What follows is illicit worship.
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks Scott,

I knew one of you guys could answer my question. Sometimes I can't see the trees because I am looking at the forest. Sometimes I can't see the forest because I am looking at a tree.

That is why he gave us Pastors, Teachers......

For Christ's Crown and Covenant, Randy:banana:
 

Robin

Puritan Board Junior
Hi Randy,

Here is a brief offering I hope is of some help...

God commands the design and building of all items used for proper worship of Him. Read EX 25 - 31 all the way through without stopping. Here is clear proof that God demands worship in a specific way - and at this time, in Redemptive history, these details were a sign of the Covenant of Works (EX 24) reconfirmed. (BTW, the artistic features of these elements: cherubim, lampstands, curtains, etc., each have specific meanings in correlation to what is in Heaven in God's throne room. In short, the earthly Temple (tent of meeting) is a "copy" of what is in Heaven.)

The cherubim God commands to ornament the Ark, are nothing like the Golden Calf problem that happens in chapter 32. The serious idolatry that Isreal commits here is NOT that they really thought the statue of the calf was a god - BUT they impatiently took matters into their own hands to worship the true God the wrong way. (In Lev. 10 Nadab and Abihu make the same mistake and God nukes them!) Complete understanding will dawn if all of Exodus us read - but at least, start from chpt. 20 and go through to the end to get the proper context. Throughout the entire OT, Israel constantly commits idolatry by worshipping the True God/YHWH in their own way - not obedient to God's prescribed ways. God relates to man only through Covenant - not directly. The rebellious Israelites wanted immediate-personal fulfillment with God, outside His Covenant. Hmmmm, do we have that problem today??!!

The items in the sacrificial system are not "aids to worship" per se', but "types and shadows" of the true worship of God through Christ (Read all of Hebrews NT.) All elements of the OT worship point to Christ.

A wonderful book explaining more is "The Unfolding Mystery" by Edmond Clowney.:book2:
 

pastorway

Puritan Board Senior
good stuff so far. note, the Israelites did not make an idol in the calf, they made an image to represent for them the Living God. They were not punished for idol worship, but for worshipping a false image of God Himself.

The key then is that the ark and its ornaments did not represent the Person of God nor was the artifact itself worshipped. If the people had wroshipped the ark, the angels on it, or thought that the ark or angels were representations of God Himself then they would have violated the Second Command.

Phillip
 

C. Matthew McMahon

Christian Preacher
Originally posted by pastorway
good stuff so far. note, the Israelites did not make an idol in the calf, they made an image to represent for them the Living God. They were not punished for idol worship, but for worshipping a false image of God Himself.

The key then is that the ark and its ornaments did not represent the Person of God nor was the artifact itself worshipped. If the people had wroshipped the ark, the angels on it, or thought that the ark or angels were representations of God Himself then they would have violated the Second Command.

Phillip

:up::up:
 

fredtgreco

Vanilla Westminsterian
Staff member
Originally posted by pastorway
good stuff so far. note, the Israelites did not make an idol in the calf, they made an image to represent for them the Living God. They were not punished for idol worship, but for worshipping a false image of God Himself.

The key then is that the ark and its ornaments did not represent the Person of God nor was the artifact itself worshipped. If the people had wroshipped the ark, the angels on it, or thought that the ark or angels were representations of God Himself then they would have violated the Second Command.

Phillip

:up::up::up:
 

Ianterrell

Puritan Board Sophomore
This is a helpful thread. I'm make art, and I have friends that also make art. We sometimes butt heads on this issue. I'm always trying to find a better way to articulate my position against the use of images in worship.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Also, remember that Hezekiah destroyed the bronze serpent that Moses made in the desert. That's because it had become an object of worship.
 
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