3D Graven Images of Animals and People

When I was a young adult reading the word of God and trying to mature in my walk with Christ, I can remember reading the second commandment in Deuteronomy, which states: Thou shalt not make 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 waters beneath the earth: (Deut. 5:8). I can remember pondering that and being astonished. I wondered why Christians had graven images of people and animals if the Bible clearly stated we are not supposed to? However, I casted off my concerns, trusting that if this were true, my pastor and the mature saints around me would have taught me about it.

Fast forward about 16 years, I got married and God blessed my husband and I with five beautiful children (so far). We love and serve God, abstain from ungodly music and entertainment, teach our children the word of God, worship and praise God in our home, yet there was spiritual darkness in our house. Like my mother, I have the gift of prophetic dreaming. And over the years I have had several dreams about demons in our house. Many times I prayed through the house, speaking the word, singing praising, casting things out. Dreams of demons in the house kept coming.

Over the past 10 years, my husband and I have been on the fast track of revelation. God is continually feeding us, and opening our eyes to things in HIS Word and what they really mean, instead of how we chose to interpret them. Our Father God, has us in a constant process of pruning, correcting, teaching and training. He is so faithful to complete the work He has begun in all of us (Philippians 1:6). The people we are now, is a far cry from who we were when we first got married.

Towards the end of 2017 God began to change and prune us again. We had begun to learn about the congregational ordinances outlined in 1 Corinthians 11. Learning that men should keep their heads uncovered and women should keep their heads covered when assembling with the saints for worship. You can read my testimony about that here (Why I Cover My Head in the Assembly of Saints).

For some reason, covering my head in worship when gathered with saints, was very difficult for me and I went through a long deliverance process to be able to obey, and cover my head in services, with a joyful heart. We were also exploring what the bible means about women keeping silent in the churches, and not usurping authority over a man (1 Timothy 2:12). To be honest, this was an extremely difficult time for me personally. The things we were exploring in scripture was vastly different than anything I was ever taught growing up. I knew there were many churches that believed some of these things, but I was never part of any church that did. I was reeling in my spirit man.

Then my husband came to me and told me he had learned something that would change our lives again. I braced myself, I knew it was something serious. After some time we finally sat down together so he could share the information with me. He shared with me that statues, carvings and toys in the shape of animals or humans, are considered by God to be graven images. Historically we are taught that bowing to the images is sin, but the bible clearly says not to make for ourselves, keep OR bow down to these images.

Exodus 20: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.

What could I say? There was no rebuttal, no argument. The scripture was clear. It clearly states not to make a graven image or any likeness…basically don’t make an idol or any likeness of living things. Although this seemed like it would be hard to do, I remembered that this is what I read and understood 16 years earlier, but had casted off. Here I was, back at the same conclusion God tried to show me back then.

There are times in a disciple’s life when there is a fork in the road. A time when you are faced not with mere opinion, but the sheer word of God. Do you walk away, and ignore the very words of God who you serve? Or do you allow the word to cut you, convict you and change your life forever?

Option A would afford you the comfort of not changing, keeping everything the same, familiar. But, it could also bring spiritual demotion, fruitlessness, or at worst, damnation for eternity in the end. Disobedience is as the sin of witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23).

Option B would force you to change what you believe, do and think, and would undoubtedly set you apart from most everyone else, who does not believe or are not willing to believe.

Option B would bring total discomfort and social awkwardness, but obedience would mean a giant leap forward on the narrow road of righteousness that leads to life. What road do you choose?

Honesty, all I could think about was my children. I could throw away my nick-nacks in the image of animals and people, no problem. But asking a group of children all under 10 years old, to walk their toys to the trash, was a hard load to bear emotionally. My husband and I talked and wrestled with the issue on our couch as our children slept one night. I felt that an adult can reason and see the benefit in sacrificing and doing something difficult for a greater good. But I was not so sure my children would know how to see the benefits in this sacrifice at their ages.

At the end of the conversation between my husband and I, it was clear what we had to do. Teaching the children early that following Christ means laying your life down, seemed to be one of the most precious gifts we could give them. Teaching them that following and obeying God is in action, not sentiment, is a treasure that will carry them. The decision was made, the images had to go. Obedience to Christ is worth far more than images made with the hands of men.

One day we called the children to the family room and asked the readers to get their bibles and all to sit down. My husband led them in reading scripture. We read Exodus 20:4-6, Deuteronomy 4:15-18, Deuteronomy 7:25-26, Romans 1:23, and 1 Corinthians 12:1-2. We simply read them and explained what graven images were. Not mentioning toys, just explaining what a graven image was biblically.

After we read the scriptures my oldest immediately said, without prompting, “So, we have to throw our toys away”? The scriptures were so clear to him, he immediately made the connection. That gave my heart such peace. To know that the Word on this topic was clear enough for a 7 year old to understand, and that the older ones could understand that it was the word of God, not just mommy and daddy’s word, gave me such comfort.

We want to lead our children in the ways of God, not our ways. We answered him and said yes, we have to throw away the toys in the image of people or animals. We explained to him we initially thought that commandment was instructing us not to bow down to graven images, but God had shown us it actually commands us not to make, keep or bow down to anything in the likeness of any creeping thing in heaven, the earth or sea.

We could see deep emotions building up inside of the children. The reality of throwing away some of their most precious toys and possessions was sinking in, and the tears started to roll. Many of these toys come from their grandparents, aunts, and uncle. To be an example, Esosa and I went first. We went through the house and gathered all of our graven images, I had more than Esosa, he never really liked images to begin with.

In front of the children I talked about each of the images I was throwing away, and I mentioned to them how special each of them had been to me. I told them that following and obeying the word of God was much more precious to me than these images made by men. I threw each of them in the trash in front of the children. Then came their turn. Sobbing they went and gathered toys and brought them to the trash. By this time we were all crying. Who enjoys seeing their children in pain?

They gathered toys and threw them in the trash for a while, they had so many toys. Crying, weeping, sobbing. We cried with them and did our best to comfort them. We felt it was important for them to throw the toys away themselves, as opposed to us just doing it for them. It was important to us that they practice obeying the Word on their own. When it was all finished we cuddled with them on the couch, and answered many more questions. It was a hard day. But, obedience to Christ and leading them to set their eyes on things above, will give them a far greater reward than the temporary comfort from toys in childhood.

Living in the day and age that we live in – we understand that throwing away graven images is not a one time event. But it was the beginning of a journey of obedience for our children. When we did this, Esosa and I talked about how important it would be for us to give our children continued support, answers and encouragement as they walked this out. We knew they would continue to have lots of questions as they grow in understanding, watching other children play with toys and wondering why they cannot. Although they understood why, and agreed that following God is more important, they still have to work through their feelings. And that is ok. We are here for them, God is here for them to strengthen us all as we draw close to Him.  

With so many toys all over the house it literally took months to get rid of all the images. We did a big purge the first day, throwing away everything we found. Then over time, we would find images we had missed, and throw them away or the children would bring them to us and we would throw them away together.

My sons and I would also have dreams of where idols were hidden in the house. God gave a few dreams like that. We looked in the places in the house we saw in the dreams, sure enough there would be a left over toy or trinket in the likeness of a living creature in that spot and we would throw it away.

Also, after we threw away the images, the dreams I was having about our house being filled with demons stopped. So, this issue was confirmed biblically and prophetically.

Many will not agree with us, but that is fine – we do not seek your approval. Rather we seek the approval of the one Who is, Who was, and Who is to come, the Lord Jesus. He comes quickly and His reward is with Him to give to every man according to his works. Come Quickly Lord Jesus (Revelations 22).

P.S. The Spirit of God also gave two of my sons and I three separate dreams connecting graven images AND idolatry to a spirit of violence… but instead of giving the dreams I’ll just give you these Scriptures that confirmed them:

Ezekiel 7:20 As for the beauty of his ornament, he set it in majesty: but they made the images of their abominations and of their detestable things therein: therefore have I set it far from them.

21 And I will give it into the hands of the strangers for a prey, and to the wicked of the earth for a spoil; and they shall pollute it.

22 My face will I turn also from them, and they shall pollute my secret place: for the robbers shall enter into it, and defile it.

23 Make a chain: for the land is full of bloody crimes, and the city is full of violence.

Ezekiel 8:And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.

10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about…

17 Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.

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