“God’s glory is corrupted by an impious falsehood whenever any form is attached to him.” (pg. 100)  That men would fashion something that resembles God is an absurdity. Scripture clearly repudiates idolatry. Calvin turns to the prophet Isaiah who was emphatic in teaching against idolatry in God’s people. “He teaches that God’s majesty is sullied by an unfitting and absurd fiction, when the incorporeal is made to resemble corporeal matter, the invisible a visible likeness, the spirit an inanimate object, the immeasurable a puny bit of wood, stone, or gold.” (pg. 101) God cannot be reduced to mere trinket or statue.

Even signs given by God to his people as a revealer of his divine Presence, were never to be taken as images to be used to represent God. “For clouds and smoke and flame, although they were symbols of heavenly glory, restrained the minds of all, like a bridle placed on them, from attempting to penetrate to deeply.” (pg. 102) Even the mercy seat over the ark, from which God manifested the presence of his power, was designed in such a manner to reflect the cherubims with wings outspread, covering it. The temple veil, also shielded the art from outside gaze. This was all done so that the Israelites would not be tempted (though they were) to fashion a physical representation of God. God is too big to be made so small as to fit in one’s pocket. Idolatry is insanity — but it is where the wicked heart of man takes him apart from Christ.

Lord, though I don’t fashion god-like trinkets from wood, metal or stone, idolatry, our hearts are always prone towards the worship of something. Let my heart always be inclined to worship you alone, the One true God, that cannot be contained by anything You have made.