Taking out the Garbage
So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel…”
Why on earth are there idols in Jacob’s entourage? To me, this command seems to imply that these aren’t secretive idols either. It’s as if they’ve been sitting as centerpieces over the fireplace mantel or carried close in hand the way my three-year-old girl carries her favorite bunny blanket. But maybe someone from Jacob’s family butts in and says, “No, no—you’ve got it all wrong! These aren’t religious artefacts; I don’t worship these—they’re just heirlooms from past generations; just decorations really—nothing to worry about.” Maybe Jacob replies, “Okay, good—then you won’t have any problem bringing them out to the garbage dump, right?” To which the kinsmen frowns, “Well, I was hoping to hold on to them a little longer.” I wonder, friend: is it really sentimentality that keeps you from throwing away those books and movies and memberships and phone numbers? Or might it be something a lot more serious?
Take Jacob’s command to heart right now and throw it away—all of it! Don’t let anything stand between you and Bethel.