This is not a full rebuttal to what Steve Hays wrote on the second commandment (link to Steve's post). Instead, it is a heavily short-handed rebuttal, written with his high level of understanding of Scripture and theology in mind. The goal is to persuade him, not to respond to the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox errors on this subject (themselves differing from one another).
Steve makes an argument that is similar to the argument that John of Damascus used to justify the making of images of Jesus. The argument boiled down is that the absolute prohibition on making representations of God was limited to the time before the incarnation.
There is one critical flaw in this argumentation: Theophanies. Whether or not Moses saw something capable of depiction, other men did. Those men lived before Moses, such as Abraham, and after Moses, such as Joshua saw the Lord in human form.
Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, the likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: and lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.
Rather than treating the comment "for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the LORD spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire" as being the reason why the commandment was imposed, may I suggest to Steve that a better way to understand it is in reverse. To avoid fanning the idolatrous temptations of the Israelites, God did not reveal Himself to them in any form. The formless revelation of God, therefore, is an object lesson to how He wishes to be honored: without images made by man.
Finally, let me provide the second counter-example. For whatever reason, Christ when resurrected concealed himself from being recognized by his appearance. Thus, Mary Magdalene does not immediately recognize him, nor do the disciples on the road to Emmaus, though evidently Jesus did look the same - even down to the scars whose inspection by Thomas Christ welcomed.
God has nowhere indicated any desire to be honored through man-made images of Him. I realize that many "Protestants" as well as some others who profess to follow Christ make or use purported[Fn1] images of Him without intending to use them as part of "worship." Nevertheless, the only obvious reason for depicting Jesus Christ is because he is God. It's not for a group photo of Nazareth high school, nor is it a booking photo at the Sanhedrin detention center. The point for Christians that makes Jesus Christ of any interest is the fact that He is the Son of God.
Now, there are sometimes other reasons to have images purporting to be of Christ. For example, one might provide a display of such images simply to show the foolishness and self-contradiction of attempts to image Christ, who is in heaven.
But if you wish to see an image of God, do not give up hope. Men (humans) are made in the image of God, and particularly husbands are in God's image:
1 Corinthians 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
For those who wish to see Christ imaged - there is one divinely sanctioned representation:
1 Corinthians 11:24-26
And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.
So, let's view Christ that way - through the non-likeness of the bread and wine, worshiping and reverencing God in the way in which He wishes to be worshiped, not with our own imagination, but according to His Word.