This is the second of a series of five articles on the Commandments, which are appearing monthly in the Sentinel.

The Commandments: Passports to Power

[Of Special Interest to Youth]

Is it not true that all day long you and I command the presence of thoughts? Instantly they go to work, but not always do we think of checking upon the sort of house they are building for us to live in. Moses commanded the presence of constructive thoughts. He gives in the First Commandment the positive rule which he proved would work. But in the second commandment he warns us against accepting destructive substitutes: "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth."

Now graven images are not always antique and they are very seldom of stone. They are images in thought, deviations from or counterfeits of God. For a long time people have been bowing down to an image of God as the creator of good and at the same time the source of evil. God is One. This means that His nature does not change from good to evil. Indeed, this indicates one power and one kind of creation. Lifelike and Godlike. This creation includes you and me. Our identity is Soul-like and our name is man. Anything set up in the imagination as a competitor to the absolute goodness of man is a false image; not a likeness, an unlikeness.

This is a powerful truth, as Pamela found out in her experience as swimming counselor at camp. She was watching another counselor do a back dive. When her friend failed to come up after several seconds, Pamela dived in, skimming around until she saw that her friend was caught on a nail under the raft. But when Pamela was near enough to free her, the friend, not knowing what she was doing, grasped her around the neck. Realizing that there was nothing about that could save either of them from drowning if this continued, there came to her the words, "Thou shalt not." Thou shalt not make any graven image of anything that is in the water under the earth. Then she thought: "I will not bow down to a graven image of fear or death. I cannot. It is unreal." Quickly, without knowing how it happened, they were both released and bobbed to the surface. Pamela said afterwards that she had not thought of this commandment since Sunday school and had never before thought of this application.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Ever-present Love
December 5, 1942

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.