Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. Exodus 20:4-6
The second commandment forbids the making of graven images . It goes on at some length to specify that these forbidden images are of any living thing, and that God is a jealous God and will punish the wicked and reward the good. All good Old Testament stuff!
Obviously we need to put our thinking caps on for this one because at school we are forever making images of living things. Why, in the lunchroom there were several rather fetching drawings of the Headmaster!
The clue to the subtle meaning of this commandment is in verse 5 where it stipulates: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them. It is the worship of these images which is the problem rather than the image itself. This commandment forbids us to waste our time worshipping gods which are false.
And what might these false gods be? Money, Power, Possessions, Self-interest, a sort of greedy drive to succeed which likes to see the other chap fail? It is the worship of these images which enslaves us, and which God, jealous of our freedom, forbids.