The second command is found in Exodus 20:4. This one tells you that you are not to engage in idolatry. The Bible says, “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.”
The Old Testament reports that the Israelites actually did make statues and images that they carried around, bowed before, and tangibly worshipped through sacrifices and offerings. That sounds weird, but it’s true. Our 21st century idols are a little more sophisticated and much more subtle. We may not bow before images, but think of the power of “image” in the world. Most everyone has an image they want to present. Image is expressed in what we wear, where we eat and the media we consume. What we drive and where we live also conveys our image. Our 21st century idols are celebrities, politicians, athletes, artists, and musicians. People look toward the pretty and the powerful and pattern their lives after them. Think of the power of their endorsements in advertising.
When we enthrone God as the supreme affection of our lives, we need to make sure we get worship right. Worship is our appropriate response to God’s self disclosure. When God is first, worship is the natural response. The problem with idols and images is they bring us to lower level living. The Bible warns that those who make idols become like the idols they make (Psalm 135:18). We become like whatever we worship.