This Aish HaTorah (“Fire of The Torah”) analysis for the coming Sabbath’s Torah portion is worth repeating for us Christians.
It reminds us why we, Jews and Christians, are forbidden to worship idols. Yes, sports fans: those pesky commandments in Exodus still apply:
The commentators give another reason for the Biblical disdain of idolatry: It is perversion of the metaphysical order. Judaism teaches that we must subordinate our will to the Almighty’s will. The nature of pagan worship is just the opposite. It is an attempt to influence and ultimately control spiritual forces. Jewish tradition says our purpose in this world is to achieve moral growth by emulating the Almighty’s behavior – not to influence spiritual forces into helping meet our own egotistical desires.
In other words: Idolatry is wrong because it is false! A graven image is an inanimate object incapable of accomplishing anything. There is nothing “real” behind the wood and stone. Compare this to the Almighty Who is responsive to one’s needs and holds the keys to all success and failure. Says the Talmud: “The seal of God is Truth.”
Similarly, revisionist history is the wrong approach. We cannot escape “reality” with the stroke of a pen. So too with the Creator of the universe. We must strive not to fashion God in our own image, but rather to fashion ourselves in the image of God.
We believe as Christians that “the seal of God is Truth” in the person of Jesus Christ. He remains as one with the Father; our path is to follow him as best we are able.
And know this: if there is one thing that may be said to characterize “modern” churches, it is that they bend the Gospel and the rest of Scripture to the point of brokenness. All for modern conveniences, such as “inclusiveness” and “relevance.”
God’s path is a hard one. It may not seem relevant, but, brothers and sisters, there’s nothing more relevant. And, it is all-inclusive — none who Jesus has chosen will be turned away, and selection has nothing to do with skin color, ethnicity, wealth, or abilities. Every one who comes to Jesus is equal in his eyes.
But God’s path leads to Golgatha, to pain, suffering, and a heinous death on the cross. Why follow it? Simple. Because it also leads to life eternal. And that is the ultimate seal of Truth for us.