Graven Images

By Max Greiner, Jr. © 2005

"See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, silver and bronze, in the cutting of jewels for setting, in carving of wood, and to work in all manner of artistic workmanship."

Exodus 35:30-33

The Old Testament of the Bible states in the First Commandment (Ex 20:3) that we are ONLY to worship the ONE TRUE GOD.  The Second Commandment (Ex 20: 4-5) states that we are forbidden to give WORSHIP to anything, or anyone other than God.  The real issue is who, or  what we WORSHIP.

God is not telling man to avoid making art or symbols that represent or remind us of the true God.  In fact, right after God gave the “Ten Commandments,” the following verses state that He gifted certain artists like Bezalel and Oholiab (Ex 31:1-4, 35: 30-35, 36: 1-8) to make things and symbols for God, to remind the people of the true God.  God does not contradict Himself. 

We are specifically commanded to keep reminders of our God and His Word in front of us at all times (Dt 11:18-21).  The Bible, cross, dove, flame,  Ichthus fish, wine and the bread are all symbols of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  It is Satan who doesn’t want Jesus and His Word lifted up in art, because God can easily use these things to bring people closer to Jesus.

I personally have been able to lead dozens of people to Christ, because they were first attracted to my art.  God used my art and testimony to bring them to a Salvation experience with Jesus.  Satan doesn’t lead people to Jesus.  It is interesting to note that the artist Bezalel, was the first person to be “filled with the Spirit of  God” according to the Bible (Ex 31:3).  God made artists and He gifted them with talent.  We are all commanded not to waste, or bury our “gifts”

(Mt  25:15-30).  The “gift of creativity” is given to all, but is most obvious in artists, designers, architects, engineers, composers, writers, poets, scientists and anyone who uses imagination to create something new.

It is God’s desire that we use our gifts, talents and abilities to bring glory, and people to Jesus.  It is our choice.  The Bible says God’s gifts are without recall (Ro 11:29).  Therefore, in this life we must decide who or what receives glory from our gifts and talents.

However, God warns us to NEVER give our WORSHIP to another spirit, thing or person, living or dead.  He is a jealous God (Ex 20:5).  That is why it is wrong and very dangerous to give worship or prayers to other spirits (false gods), things (idols) or even people (false christs), living or dead.  One should only pray to the God of the Bible, in the name of Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit.  To pray to any other person or thing is sin and idol worship.  This is spiritually dangerous because demons are attracted to false worship.  It is also wrong to give worship to any Christian symbol like the Bible, the cross, or any Christian artwork.  These things should simply point us toward the true God; they are not God, and should not receive our worship


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