Get Rid of Your Idols

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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So Jacob told everyone in his household, "Get rid of all your pagan idols, purify yourselves, and put on clean clothing."

Genesis 35:2

When God spoke yet again to Jacob, telling him to go to Bethel and worship there, Jacob responded promptly and obediently. What's more, he told his family to get rid of their "pagan idols" (the Hebrew is translated literally, "the foreign gods") and to purify themselves. "Jacob is a paragon of faith," we might conclude.

Perhaps. But I wonder why Jacob had to tell his family members to put away their idols. By obvious implication, he had known beforehand that they had had these idols and had tolerated this practice in the past. He had allowed his family to dabble in pagan worship, rather than teaching them to be exclusively loyal to the Lord.

I don't think my home contains any actual idols. No statues of pagan gods here. But I must ask myself to what extent I have allowed and even invited competing "idols" into my life and that of my family. What else do we trust besides the Lord? How can I help my children to be fully devoted to God? What have I tolerated that draws us away from the Lord?

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What "idols" compete for your allegiance? If you're a parent, what "idols" compete for the souls of your children? How can we live with greater loyalty to God alone?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, how easy it is for us to have faith that is "God plus" . . . God plus undiscerning spiritualism . . . God plus unbridled materialism . . . God plus uncritical patriotism . . . God plus self-promoting success . . . and so on, and so on. Forgive us, Lord, for all the ways we share our loyalty. Forgive us for our "idols."

Teach us, gracious God, to live by faith in you alone. Help us to put aside all that takes us away from trusting you fully. Moreover, give us wisdom to teach our families and friends how to honor you with all that we are, to love you with all of our hearts, all of our minds, all of our souls, and all of our strength.

To you, and you alone, be the glory! Amen.