“You must not have any other god but me.
“You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. (NLT)
God made us in his own image and ever since we have been busily remaking God into our own image. It is so easy to imagine God wrongly even if we don’t construct physical idols.
If we call God ‘father’ we can too readily project who our own fathers were onto God. If we think he is male, females can feel alienated from God. Some who advocate certain causes enlist God into their campaign. He can be either the one who safeguards the capitalist system or works to overthrow it.
Down through history, people have claimed God’s support for all sorts of things that they themselves support. God becomes captive to an ideology, the cheerleader for a nation or empire, the one who is unfailingly on my side. Whereas the deeper question is whether we are on his side!
God is not like us: we are to be like God. He is not the pet God of a certain nation or ethnic group. He is not some tame, domesticated deity of a certain class of people. He is beyond race, gender, or class. And if we want some idea of what he is really like, a reading of the gospels will safeguard us against error. Jesus is the human face of God; he is God spelling himself out in a language we humans can understand.