The “unity” of God is a term that is used in two senses. First, it is used to denote numerical oneness. The Lord Jesus said, “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30). The Greek text of this is literally, “I and my Father are one thing, one essence”, meaning that God and Jesus are one. When we talk about God being one, we mean the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not three separate beings; they are unified.
There are three persons in the Godhead, although we worship God as one entity who subsists in three persons. However, it is important to stress that God is one. It is written in Deuteronomy 6:4, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD”. It is interesting to note that “one” is used to refer to a compound unity. In Genesis 2, it is written that a husband and wife shall become one flesh; two persons, once married, become one entity. The second meaning of the unity of God comes when we say that there is no one like Him—He is the unique and only true God, which excludes all other gods. Nothing can compare to God because there is nothing that self-exists. Thus, an image or an idol is blasphemous against the nature of God since an idol denies His being.
An idol is a dead piece of material that cannot move on its own. To say that it represents the true God is false and demonstrates a totally incorrect conception of God. Therefore, in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, we are exhorted to keep ourselves away from idols. An incorruptible God cannot be represented by anything material. Perhaps it is worth considering whether it is proper to even have a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ in your house or in your wallet, as this is effectively a graven image.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or 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. (Exodus 20:4)
Isaiah 46 is a passage where the Lord God contrasts Himself with all other idols.
Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb: And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. (Isaiah 46:3-4)
Our God made us and carries us, and this is in stark contrast to idols that need to be made as well as carried. God looks after His children; idols need looking-after. A god that needs followers for maintenance is not a god but merely a waste of followers’ time and devotion. It is better for it to be thrown into the sea. The living God is He who will deliver and carry you. However, that is not all. Because of Jesus’ resurrection, God not only cares for us, but also gives us life by living within us. Similarly, if your Christian walk is burdensome and requires you to maintain and sustain it, may I suggest that you look for your idol and ask the Source of Life to bring life to you? Our God is alive!
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