You know, it just struck me this morning that there is another good and sound reason why the Lord forbids us from making any like image, symbol or any sort of representation of Him.
Looking back through history, symbols have often been the cause of much anger, hatred and even wars.
For example, think about how a Jew feels when he or she sees a swastika.
No doubt, instant feelings of repulsion and rage instantly arise from within.
In fact, in Japan (where I’m living right now), if one were to take a stroll in any city, chances are very high you’d encounter the swastika symbol posted up on poles in front of temples and even on shop signs and billboards.
However, in Japan, the swastika is not an anti-Semitic symbol.
In Japanese, the swastika is called MANJI and it’s a symbol used pretty frequently in Buddhism.
In the Japanese sense, the swastika can actually mean a number of positive things from strength to compassion.
Even though the swastika has such an incredibly negative connotation in the West (for obvious reasons), thousands of years of history that Japan has with the swastika overrides the awful associations much of the Western world has with it.
And this in spite of the fact that Japan allied with Nazi Germany in World War II.
What’s interesting is that in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, the Japanese Government, being aware of the potential rage and anger this symbol could trigger, is now making an effort to take down their swastikas, especially in the more prominent tourist hot spots.
Such is the tremendous power a symbol holds.
Look back through church history.
The Protestants berate the Catholics for their use of statues of Jesus, Mary and the Saints.
The Catholics retaliate by criticizing the Protestants for their use of the bare or triple cross and even get on their case for the use of the fish symbol.
Many Jews view the cross as terribly offensive because to them it is nothing but a cruel execution device used to kill millions of people.
Many Christians look at the Star of David as an abolished, meaningless symbol of a people who refused to accept Christ and even aided in executing Him.
We even attach the word “SACRED” to our cherished symbols.
By doing this, it is obvious we are attaching some measure of holiness to these mere objects!
Is there any wonder that God speaks so strongly against creating symbols?
I think in His Wisdom, God knew that such symbols would lead to disharmony and hatred between people and nations who revered (or even worshipped) their favorite symbols.
While there may be a few folks out there who are able to keep their high emotions in check and only view their symbols as nothing but mere objects that represent their faith, the sad truth is many believers aren’t that strong.
So God’s solution in the matter is to NOT make them at all.
He doesn’t see these symbols as honoring Him.
And nowhere in Scripture does He define a symbol of His Deity and then command us to fight to the death to protect it.