Sunday, January 11, 2009

Household Idols

So much has spoken to my heart today on my journey through the chronological Bible. I want to camp on one passage, but I still want to just quickly point out a couple of truths that have captured me.

Laban's dishonesty and treatment of Jacob in Genesis 30 no doubt was birthed in a heart of jealousy and envy. He certainly abused his position of authority, yet the Lord still prospered Jacob. The Lord honours those who trust in His provision. "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails" Proverbs 19:21.

Jacob endured so much to become Laban's son-in-law (Genesis 31:38-42). What am I willing to endure to become a daughter of God? What sacrifices am I willing to make?

Laban and Jacob eventually set up a stone monument as a reminder of their covenant. You never read one word of apology. Laban does not willingly speak of any fault, he just moves on.

However, the verse that has held my heart this morning is Genesis 31:19b, "Rachel stole her father's household idols and took them with her". A few thoughts have been awakened as I read this verse.

First, it has made me question what "household idols" I have and second, I am struck by the reality that my goods can be stolen, but not my God. Oh, our idols can be stolen, and they can steal from us, but no-one can take away our God. That's why God's Word tells us in Matthew 6:19-21, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." It truly is a heart issue.

Why would Rachel even want to take the household idols? Didn't she have everything? She was beautiful. She was loved. She was blessed with children. The Lord had just given her the baby her heart had longed for, but obviously this child still didn't fill the emptiness in her life.

Kelly Minter, author of "No Other God's" sums this up so perfectly. She writes, "I have found myself in both the shoes of Leah and Rachel: Leah's when I am miserable because I lack, and Rachel's when I am miserable in my fullness. The way out? Jesus Christ."

Regardless of your state, contentment can be found in God alone. Paul expressed this truth in Philippians 4:12, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." Only God can satisfy.

Look around the home of your heart. Do you see "household idols"? Are their gods that can be stolen? Maybe the best thing that could happen in your life would be to have your heart burgularized so that only One thing remains. The One thing that can never be stolen - God!

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elaine @ peace for the journey said...

She took them because (I think...) the treasure of her past outweighed God's fullness in her present.

How many "idols" have I carried around with me for YEARS, only to feel their weight more profoundly as I prod along.

I'll tell you a big one around here...the computer. Most days, I hate to even turn the thing on. Thinking of taking a week aways.

Great thoughts, Joy. One of my favorite studies in the entire Bible, Beth Moore's "Patriarchs". It was foundational for me toward my understanding the entirety of God's Word.


Bonita said...

Oh, Joy, what rich revelations here! Much to ponder! May my heart be burglarized and all idols stolen (and not replaced by insurance!).

I didn't realize you were going through the chronological Bible. Me too!