I haven’t heard from you in a long while, and wondered why. But then I haven’t written you for a long while either. In this letter, we are going to do some more thinking, or, wondering together. Remember we have wondered about angels and about devils? This time we will wonder about images. Do you know what images are? I can hear you say. “Sure, Gramps, images are
idols the heathen used to worship in old times,” Right! Images were worshipped in Bible times and were called idols. They were false gods. But we do not have to go so far back in time. Thousands and millions worship idols in many forms of images today. Your dictionary will inform you that an image is a likeness of a person, animal or any other creature. In Judges 17 we read about a man named Micah who had a house of idols where he and others could come to worship. Now I am inviting you to my house to wonder about my images. Not my house to which the postman delivers my mail, but to the house of my many mental images. Can you imagine that?
My house has three stories: basement, ground level and upstairs rooms. To get to the basement I will let you in by the outside entrance, down a few steps. There I will show you some of the most horrible images! See, right here on the left, is a golden enameled frog. Look at its grotesque features. The mouth is too wide, its eyes bulge out too far. What a sight! And next to it is a four-footed beast with hairy skin and, yes, an imitation man’s face! My, what a horrible collection of figures which have been imagined by fallen, depraved men whose imagination has gone berserk! You know, children that the First Man was created to worship his Creator-God. But man fell from that high estate and his nature still demands that he worship. So he worships all right! But he worships dumb images- birds, beasts, snakes, bugs; even insects that have been fashioned by goldsmiths.
One of the rooms in my basement has been made into a “dark room’’ in which your uncle developed and printed camera pictures. Well, he has grown up and moved away, so I was left with a useless darkened room, with windows heavily covered, door-cracks puttied shut, entirely sealed against any light entering. Is that room dark! I have bored a peep hole through which you may look. One at a time, now. What do you see? Oh, wait, I will switch on the ceiling light in there. Now see there are people worshipping devils! And don’t come to the wrong conclusion that I set up that scene out of my imagination. No sirrie. There are many people right now in 1985 who are Satan worshippers! There are satanic cults organized in various cities where they actually meet to praise the name of Satan. They even sacrifice animals and, I am told, even make human sacrifices!
Enough of that dank basement and its gruesome images. Let’s take the steps up past the furnace and go to the second floor. Look how nice and light it is here. In the kitchen you will see a beautiful golden calf. Remember when Moses stayed up the mountain too long to suit the waiting people? Though Moses was receiving and writing the Laws of God, Aaron and the people became impatient. The people gave Aaron many earrings, bracelets and other golden ornaments which Aaron put into a hot oven to melt them down. From this molten mass he fashioned a calf-likeness. The people had clamored for something tangible to worship, so Aaron publicly announced, “Here are thy gods which led you out of Egypt.” Calf worship was not foreign to them. Egyptians worship calves and all sorts of animals. So the people gathered around the golden calf and sang and danced in un-holy abandon!
Next, in the dining room I have reconstructed the idol some of the Philistines worshipped. His name was “Dagon”. Remember the story told in I Sam. 5? The Philistines had stolen the Ark of God from the Israelites and had put it on a table in the house of Dagon. The next morning the worshippers found their god had fallen down before the Ark of God, and his hands and his head were broken off! The Philistines learned that their false god had to bow down to the God which Israel worshipped. You can see that I glued the broken members back on to show its original form.
Israel again fell into the vile practices of their neighbors and joined them in their licentious Baal worship. There, in the corner behind the fireplace screen I have hidden his image which is so crudely obscene. That one cannot stand in the light of my living room! And before I take you up to the highest order of images, I want you to look at that fat Buddha with three arms and hands on each side of his belly, to show that he can do anything for his worshippers. And here, on the landing halfway up, stands the mythological giant called Cyclops. His one large eye in the middle of his forehead is meant to show that he can look into one’s thoughts; no secrets from him!
Now let us go to the top floor of my imaginary house. These ghostly images, (not real, of course, but only thought-images). Modern man knows too much to be found bowing to images! They have been so educated, so sophisticated, so wise in their own conceits! Now they worship ideas. Now they worship people, the Great Emancipator who set the slaves free. That shadowy figure is of the teacher of the theory of evolution. That one- no, I cannot show him to you as yet. You will notice that I have covered him with a heavy veil. You can just imagine behind that mesh is a huge MAN, the grandest of all! I will take this curtain rod and lift the bottom of his veil and let you read his name on that gold-plated sign. IT IS THE ANTICHRIST. OK, now, let’s leave this awful house of images and come with me to my house to which the postman delivers my mail. Gram has the kitchen table ready with milk and graham crackers. Mm, doesn’t that look good! Now then, which of those rooms in my image house did you detest most? The dark one in the basement? I agree that might be the most horrible, but I really think that the modern, sophisticated one on the topmost floor is the most dangerous.
Finished with your snack? Then I will reach for my Bible off that shelf and flip it open to the bookmark near the front and find Joshua telling his people, “Choose ye this day whom ye shall serve.” Then another bookmark way at the end of the Book we find where the people of God are gathered, at the promise of Jesus, “Surely I come quickly”, with their response, “Amen, even so, Come Lord Jesus.”