“Off The Derech” The “Bunny” Idolization: Exodus 20:4

At Hardware and Gardening Stores, decorative front lawn statues of gnomes, pink flamingos and other offerings are often for sale. What drives individuals to place these items on their yards?

Recently, I discovered a tenant to our property. Rent free, a cotton tail bunny has taken up the front lawn as a dwelling. The bunny, as expected, is skittish. Any movement or loud noise can cause it to take off. The bunny is not easy to notice. Its coloring blends in with the surroundings.

The bunny has become a source of entertainment. When leaving the house or returning home, i play a quick game of “where’s bunny.” It is stimulating as it takes a a pair of sharp eyes and a sharp mind to catch a sighting. While the sighting can be for seconds, it provides a level of satisfaction. Other times, from inside the house, I am able to see it. There is something special over the fact that this animal chose to share this piece of land with us.

With this in mind, my thoughts returned to the Hardware Store and Gardening Center’s statues. Bunny statues were also available for purchase. The acquisition of a such a statue would guarantee a bunny sighting all the time. In effect, I would have a bunny idol.

If I put a statue on on the lawn, it might provide me some satisfaction. The statue, however, would not likely evoke that the feelings from seeing a real one. The real one is elusive. The real one impacts my behavior. The real one stimulates my senses as I look for it. The real one, I am in search of.

In a perverse way, my bunny worship thoughts have the trappings of idolatry. In the instance of the bunny, the statue or idolatry served would serve as a cheap and unsatisfactory alternative to the real thing.

Taking this to the banning of idolatry in Exodus 20:4, one can see how idolatry inhibits one’s spiritual development. When one is in search of a divine presence, they are on their best behavior. When one see signs of a divine presence, one’s faith is strengthened. Obsession and focus upon an object will likely stunt ones understanding and appreciation of the world.

In sum, it is a wonder how all of this can from one of God’s creations, a little bunny who considered our lawn to be safe and secure place to be at peace.

Be well!!

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I am a practicing lawyer and long term admirer of the bible

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