Exodus 20:4-5 (NKJV)
4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me
“You can’t erase history!” That’s what so many so passionately proclaim when they protest the removal of confederate monuments and symbols from public places.
Think of all the historical figures and events that you remember without a statue or monument. Monuments aren’t necessarily about remembering…they’re about celebrating, honoring and even worship.
But, if God forbade us from erecting an image to represent Him, why would we need one to remember a man or woman.
When God forbade graven images, it was about more than just worship. Notice that Exodus 20:4 was about forbidding to make them. Then, Verse 5 addressed bowing down and worshipping them. Does this imply that it’s a sin to make them, then it’s a further sin to worship them…Hey, I’m just asking.
God knows how we are. He knows that people have the tendency to be more caught up in the symbol that what it actually represents.
Think about how many people wear crosses, but don’t live a lifestyle or really particularly care about what that represents.
People are ready to kill over statues, flags and songs.
Being that passionate about a statue, flag or monument is worship.
I’m a Black man and I don’t need a statue to remember who Dr. Martin Luther King was. God gave the Jews the Pentateuch, which is their history. When the children of Israel erected a golden calf to represent and remember the God that brought them out of Egypt, He commanded it be torn down (Exodus 32).
To say removing a monument erases history is very simplistic thinking.
If God doesn’t need a monument to represent or acknowledge Him, then why should anyone else.
Now do you see why He forbade graven images.