Friday, August 21, 2009

A.W. Pink, The Second Commandment, & Gleanings From Exodus

Here is A.W. Pink's commentary on the the Second Commandment from his work called The Ten Commandments: 2. The Second Commandment. Thanks to Providence Baptist Ministries.

And here is Pink's Gleanings From Exodus, which can be read here (at Providence Baptist Ministries).

Several quotes from Pink's Gleanings From Exodus:
Two is the number of witness, and in this second commandment man is forbidden to attempt any visible representation of Deity, whether furnished by the skill of the artist or the sculptor. The first commandment points out the one only object of worship; the second tells us how He is to be worshipped—in spirit and in truth, by faith and not by images which appeal to the senses. The design of this commandment is to draw us away from carnal conceptions of God, and to prevent His worship being profaned by superstitious rites.
From The Righteous Judge:
"And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount" (v. 19). A most appalling spectacle was spread before these servants of God. The very people who had only recently bowed before the manifested majesty of Jehovah, were now obscenely sporting around the golden image of a calf. In holy indignation Moses dashes the tables of stone to the ground, just as in the days of His flesh the Lord Jesus "made a scourge of small cords" and drove out of the Temple those who had desecrated His Father’s house; and just as in Revelation 1 He is seen with "His eyes as a flame of fire" (v. 14).

"And Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount." This affords a most striking illustration of what is said in James 2:10, "For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all." Israel had offended "in one point." God had said to them: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above or that is in the earth be-hearth, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them (Ex. 20:4, 5). This they had disobeyed, and the law being a unit, they are guilty of all"—hence the breaking of the two tables to show that the ten commandments, as a whole, had been violated.

"And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it" (v. 20). Some of the so-called "higher critics" with their customary skepticism have called into question the reference to Moses strawing the powder upon "the water;" but if these men would but take the trouble to "search the Scriptures," they would find that the Holy Spirit has granted light upon this point, though not in this chapter (for the Bible does not yield its meaning to lazy people), but in another book altogether. In Deuteronomy 9:21 we read, "I took your sin, the calf which ye had made, and burnt it with fire, and stamped it, and ground it very small, even until it was as small as dust: and I cast the dust thereof into the brook that descended out of the mount." What that "brook" was that "descended out of the mount" Exodus 17:6 tells us.

Moses’ actions here in grinding the idol to powder, strewing it upon the water, and making the children of Israel drink thereof, are very solemn. The Christian is bidden to keep himself from idols (1 John 5:21), which, we need scarcely add, covers very much more than bowing down to graven images. An "idol" is anything which displaces God in my heart. It may be something which is quite harmless in itself, yet if it absorbs me, if it be given the first place in my affections and thoughts, it becomes an "idol." It may be my business, a loved one, or my service for Christ. Any one or anything which comes into competition with the Lord’s ruling me in a practical way, is an "idol." And if I have set up an idol, then God, in His faithfulness and love, will break it down; not If I sow to the flesh, then of the flesh I must reap corruption (Gal. 6:8).
Concerning the Third Commandment:
God requires that the majesty of His holy name be held inviolably sacred by us. His name must be used neither with contempt, irreverently, or needlessly. It is striking to observe that the first petition in the prayer the Lord taught His disciples is, "Hallowed be thy name!" The name of God is to be held profoundly sacred. In our ordinary speech and in our religious devotions nothing must enter that in anywise lowers the sublime dignity and the highest holiness of that Name. The greatest sobriety and reverence is called for. It needs to be pointed out that the only time the word "reverend" is found in the Bible is in Psalm 111:9 where we read, "Holy and
reverend is His name.' How irreverent then for preachers to style themselves
Searching words:
It is in the very character of man's nature (that which distinguishes him from and elevates him above the beasts) which has made his fall his ruin. It has been rather vulgarly said that "Man is a religious animal," by which is meant that man, by nature, is essentially a religious creature, i.e., made, originally, to pay homage to his Creator. It is this religious nature of man's which, strange as it may sound, lies at the root of all idolatry. Being alienated from God, and therefore ignorant of Him, he falls the ready dupe of Satan.

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