“I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” (Isaiah 42:8)
Men love to worship men. They love iconic images that represent the strength of their heroes. They love to glory in the illusion of man’s greatness or goodness.
The first commandment is to worship no other god beside the Lord. The second commandment is to make no image that fosters such idolatry. In Isaiah, the Lord speaks of a day when He alone will be exalted. His judgment will be upon “all pleasant pictures.” (Isa. 2:16) “And the idols he shall utterly abolish.” (Isa. 2:18) The idols of men will be deemed worthless. “In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats” (Isa. 2:20) God pointedly warns those with idolatrous tendencies : “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” (Isa. 2:22)
The desire to make idols and glory in images which visually represent them has not disappeared in our modern age. We are every bit as guilty of idolatry as those who lived in biblical times. But our gods are no gods and our images are a lie. When will we cease from man? When we do, the true worship of God can begin.