Christian Churches of God

No. CB71_2





Second Commandment


(Edition 3.0 20050914-20070202-20211205)


The Second Commandment says: You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.






Christian Churches of God







(Copyright © 2005, 2007, 2021 Christian Churches of God, ed. Wade Cox)



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Lesson: Second Commandment


To review and understand the Second Commandment.



1.      Children will be able to understand the meaning of the Second Commandment.

2.      Children will be able to list three ways that would break the Second Commandment.

3.      Children will understand ways in which we use false symbols that detract or take away from worshipping the One True God.

4.      Children will understand what God’s instructions are for the removal of images of other gods.

5.      Children will understand ways in which we please God with symbols (e.g. blue ribbons).



Law and the Second Commandment (No. 254)

The Ten Commandments (No. CB17)

The Second Commandment (No. CB71)

The Law of God (No. CB25)


Relevant Scriptures:

Exodus 20; Deuteronomy 6: 8-9; 11:18-20; Numbers 15:37-41; Romans 1:21-25; 1Corinthians 8:4-6


Memory Verses:

Exodus 20:4-5  You shall not make for yourself a 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; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God... (RSV)



Open with prayer

Poster Board Activity (Optional).  If using the poster board from the previous lesson add the second commandment to the poster board.

Lesson on the 2nd Commandment

Activity associated with the lesson

Close with prayer



1.      Read through the paper The Second Commandment (No. CB71) unless it is read as a sermonette with the children present.

2.      Children’s questions are in bold.  This is a general review of the material covered in the lesson.


Q1. What does the Second Commandment say?


A. Do not make idols that look like anything in the sky or on earth or in the ocean under the earth.  Don't bow down and worship idols. I am the LORD your God, and I demand all your love. If you reject me, I will punish your families for three or four generations. But if you love me and obey my laws, I will be kind to your families for thousands of generations (Ex 20:4-6). (Contemporary English Version, or CEV)


Q2. How many Great Commandments are there and what are they?


A.   There are two.  The first one tells us we should love God with all of our heart, soul and mind and the second one tells us to love our neighbor as yourself.


Q3. How do the Ten Commandments fall under the Two Great commandments?


A. The first four Commandments fall under the “First Great” commandment and show us how to love God. The last six, beginning with the Fifth Commandment, fall under the “Second Great” commandment and teach us how to love others


Q4.  What is an idol or graven image?


A. An idol or graven image is a representation or likeness of a person, creature or object that is used for worship.  It can also include anything in our lives that we place above God such as money, games, toys, etc.


Q5.  Did any of God’s prophets or kings break the second commandment?

A. Yes, we learned King Solomon, the son of David,  allowed himself to be swayed by his wives of different religions and had idols made. 


Q6.  What are some examples of common things in our society that might be considered idols?

A. Statues of Jesus Christ or Mary, a cross hanging in a church or in jewelry, Buddha statues at restaurants, shrines in homes or restaurants.  (There are many other examples that the kids might come up with.)


Q7.  What about images in artwork?

A. The second commandment does not prohibit the making of images for art.  Art is decorative, but it is not used for worship or to symbolize other gods.  


Q8. Does the Bible say we should not follow in the customs or abominations of the heathen?


A. Yes, we are commanded not to follow in any way the customs or pagan traditions that are against God’s Laws of any people around us.


Jeremiah 10:2 Thus says the LORD: "Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, (RSV)


Q9. What does the Bible instruct us to do with images or shrines of other gods?


A. We are to destroy them completely and utterly.


Deuteronomy 7:25-26: The graven images of their gods you shall burn with fire; you shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them, or take it for yourselves, lest you be ensnared by it; for it is an abomination to the LORD your God. And you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house, and become accursed like it; you shall utterly detest and abhor it; for it is an accursed thing.


Q10. What does God say that we should do as a reminder to keep His laws? 


A. The Bible indicates that we should have blue fringes (or ribbons) on our clothes to remind us of God’s Laws.


Also we are to put the Law on the doorposts of our homes (Deut. 6:1-9).


Q11. How many blue ribbons are we to wear?


A. We use 4 blue ribbons on our clothes to remind us of God’s Law and to be holy to Him.  They are never used as a means of protection or worship. They are simply a reminder that our daily decisions are guided by God and His Laws.


Deuteronomy 15:22: And when you make a coat, sew a tassel on each of the four corners. (CEV)


Q12.  Who tries to get us to worship creation instead of the One True God?  What should we do about that?

A.  Satan tries to do everything he can to stop us from worshiping God the Father and being part of His family.  In order to protect ourselves from Satan’s tricks, we should keep God’s commandments and put on the whole armour of God!


Activity Options:


First Activity:

Have pre-cut pictures of various objects from magazines, Internet, books, etc. that represent things that are acceptable and things that are not. Hang a poster board at the front of the room with two sides – Acceptable and Forbidden.  A few examples of pictures to pre-cut include:




Statue of a bird for decorative reasons

Bird on the totem pole


Sacred cow of India or golden calf

Picture from a museum

Picture of Christ on our wall at home

Drawing of a fish       

Religious symbol of fish on the back of our car

Drawing of a cherubim as described in the bible text

Angel on our shoulder pin

Pine tree

Christmas tree (decorated)

Bunny rabbits 

Rabbit’s foot key chain


Manger scene Star


Birthday cake with candles


Pumpkin carved into jack o’lantern


Put all of the pre-cut pictures into a hat.  Have the children each pull one of the pictures from the hat and place it on the correct side of a poster board.


When they are all assembled, ask the children for other examples of items that are acceptable and/or forbidden. These examples should help us to have a better understanding of what is prohibited in the Second Commandment and what constitutes idolatry.


Second Activity:

Yarn maze

Eight items for each yarn (child)

Four blue ribbons

Four “idols/images”

Treasure at end for staying on path

At end, smash and burn images and attach four blue ribbons


Supplies for Yarn Maze:

1 skein of yarn per child

4 blue ribbons attached with one safety pin each

4 “idols/images” also with a safety pin on each

Paper towel or old toilet paper roll


Grill with fire in it (water hose or fire extinguisher in case of emergency).


Yarn Maze Procedure:

Prior to the lesson, set up the maze, ideally in a secured area either inside or outside. Areas that work well outside have lots of trees or items where the yarn can be wrapped around. If indoors one can tie off on doorknobs or chairs can be placed around as points to tie off the yarn. Before you begin select your location. Select the same start point for all children. Start with unrolling about 3 feet (1 metre) of yarn and secure by wrapping the yarn around the start site.  Continue to unwind yarn, wrapping it around various items to create a “spider web”. As you progress and add more and more yarn the maze becomes more complex. After the maze is created with the yarn, collect the 8 items per child and begin pinning them on each skein of yarn. Try to stagger the placement of the items on each individual yarn path.


After the formal lesson take children to where the maze is set up. It helps if you stagger children a little going into the maze. The older children should go first since it will be more complex; the younger ones at the end since it will be easier. Each child is handed a ball or paper or old paper towel roll at the beginning of the maze so they have something to wind the yarn on.


Review how if we follow God’s Law and obey God and retain the Holy Spirit we will be part of His Kingdom. Review with the children the path is not always easy but God does not leave or forsake us as long as we don’t let go of our “string/His way of life”. Sometimes we may need to ask others for help if the yarn is wound around something high or if it seems like a tangle; but there are always people to help if we ask. Reinforce the concept God will always help us if we ask Him. Instruct the children that while they go through the maze they are to keep the “good things”; they can pin them on to themselves. Just like in life sometimes we have or see good things and other times there are bad things. The idols or “bad” things will burn once they get out of the maze. In reality, when we are faced with bad things we burn them or turn away from them as soon as we find them, but for safety and simplicity we will destroy them all at the same time.


After everyone is out of the maze discuss some of the challenges the children faced with them and attempt to correlate them to real life and Scriptures.


Review the concepts and Scriptures of idols being “smashed” and destroyed by fire. Again, ensure safety but allow the children one at a time to use the hammer and destroy the wooden or plastic idols. Use a barbeque pit or something low enough for the children to throw their smashed idols in. Review the concept that going into the Millennium all the bad things will be destroyed and we will be instructing everyone on the planet to live by God’s Laws.


Close with prayer