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Deuteronomy 4:15-16 – You saw no form of any kind the day the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman. (NIV)
You may not know it, but I love drawing as well as writing. I find both to be very therapeutic. I tend to draw late at night just before I go to bed. It helps to switch off my mind and enables me to wind down after a hectic day. I usually use wax crayons in my drawings. I guess I've always been that way, since I was a child. I like the grain effect that crayons produce. Lately, I've been designing stained glass windows using the grain effect to enhance the drawings.
I think that the Hebrew children must have loved to draw as well. Maybe they made pictures in the sand or chalked drawings on the rocks. However, they were under a strict prohibition not to make an image and then glorify it. God was beyond their imagining and didn't want to be contained in a painting or drawing, idol or statue. He was greater than they could possibly know, so to picture Him in an image was to diminish Him entirely.
God also liked to reveal His nature to His people in different ways and at different times. The Old Testament is full of events and circumstances where God's presence is known amongst the people in a dynamic way. Those events, such as the crossing of the Red Sea, Elijah's sacrifice on Mount Carmel, and Daniel in the lion's den, testify to the immediate and true presence of God. Images and idols, drawings and pictures were not needed to convince the people that God was truly with them.
And then, God's final revelation to the world came to us in Jesus Christ, His holy Son. In the midst of a world empire that was obsessed with images and idols, statues and temples, God quietly brought His Son into our world to reveal to us His love and care, His mercy and grace.
As much as I enjoy drawing, I know that I can never depict Christ as He really is, nor do I ever want to. He is the final revelation of God, and we are meant to be attracted to His life, teaching, and words, so that we can one day step into the holy, wonderful, and awesome presence of God. Without Christ in our hearts, we cannot gain entrance to God's kingdom. Without Jesus in our lives, we will never get beyond the pearly gates. He is the ultimate image of God in the world. Our purpose is to help as many others as we can to see Him that way, too.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the holy Son of God and the last great hope for humankind. You are the true image of holiness and perfection, of strength and courage, of mercy and grace. Help us to turn to You this day, to glorify Your words and deeds, so that we may confidently tell others about who You really are. In Your holy name, we humbly serve and pray. Amen.
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