Do not make idols or set up carved images, or sacred pillars, or sculptured stones in your land so you may worship them. I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 26:1)
Relate: Emperor Leo III overthrew his predecessor to save the Kingdom. Byzantium had been severely mismanaged and was on the brink of collapse. Arabs were at the gates with an army of 150,000 and various governors in Sicily, southern Italy, and Greece had effectively broken off and were going their separate ways. After five years on the brink of extinction, it was clear that Leo had saved the kingdom. Once that was done, Leo took on the even more difficult and important task of “saving” the kingdom.
At the main entrance to the palace in Constantinople stood the Chalke Gate. For at least a hundred years over this gate stood an image, an icon, of Christ. Beginning with this most famous image Leo began systematically removing the icons throughout the city and replacing them with crosses. Constantinople had become literally the most idolatrous city in the world (and possibly in all of history) and Leo was the first emperor to try and put a stop to it.
React: I am an iconoclast. Why? For that I have to go back to Aaron in the desert. Moses had been too long up on the mountain and the people were clamoring for Aaron to do something about it. So he told them to gather their gold, made it into an image, then told the people, “O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!” But we lose it in English. He said, “Elohim(God) Yisra’el(of Israel) alah (who brought) erets (the land) Mitsrayim(Egypt)” Elohim is the second most common name/title for God in the Old Testament and this is the exact phrase has already been used of God 12 times. Aaron wasn’t worshiping the wrong God, he was worshiping the right God the wrong way.
I can’t just worship God however I feel like it. I must be obedient to what He has commanded. To worship Him is to bow down to Him and to serve Him. That means getting my will and ideas out of the way so that He can be glorified. I hear all the time, “Well, to me God is like…” I don’t care. Get away from me with that blasphemy. It doesn’t matter if your name is Michalangelo of Colton Burpo, the only understanding we have of Christ isn’t from a thought an idea, or an image but from the Written and Living Word of God. The world doesn’t need the idolatry of a graven/chiseled/painted/sketched image of God. They need a living image that is you and me living Him out in our lives.
God, be ever greater in my eyes. No image could ever do You justice. Even the grandest of my imaginations falls short. You stretched out the galaxies easier than I pull back a curtain. You hold the oceans in the hollow of Your hand and all the power and greatness of all the kingdoms for all time have less impact than the dust on a scale. How then can any image made by hand ever begin to do You justice. Be ever greater in my eyes and through my life.