A little background information for you. Since February 2022, I have been writing daily devotions for a Facebook group that I started dedicated to encouraging people to read through the Bible. Together we read and I wrote through the New Testament. Now we are studying the book of Genesis. Recently, I started sending these devotions to people via email for those who did not have Facebook but still wanted to receive these. Devotions are made available at 6:30 AM (central time) each morning.
The following devotion is the one I wrote for today. If you would like to receive these daily devotions via email, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add you to my group.
To God be ALL glory!
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.
When Jacob and his family fled from Laban, we read in Genesis 31:19 that Rachel stole her father’s household gods. And then living in the land of Shechem it appears that they may have adopted some of the gods of the land. Whatever happened and when, there are foreign gods among Jacob’s family. This is something that needs to be rectified before they enter the land of Canaan and the place where God revealed Himself to Jacob after he fled from Esau. So obviously they did so, and once there, God blesses Jacob and officially changes his name to Israel as God reaffirms the covenant with him.
But to be in a covenant relationship with God, means God being your God and that is it. No other gods. It means putting away whatever household gods you have.
“Wait a second, Pastor, I do not have any household gods.”
Well then, let’s explore this a little bit. The First Commandment, from Exodus 20:2-3, is “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.” In Luther’s Small Catechism, he says this about that First Commandment, “We are to fear, love, and trust God above all things.” And so, anything that we fear, love, and trust over God is our god.
“Okay, I fear, love and trust God above ALL things.”
Really? Has there ever been a time that you chose to worry instead of praying to God about it? How about choosing another activity instead of reading your Bible? How about sleeping in on Sunday because Saturday was a late night? How about choosing to remain angry with someone instead of forgiving them? I could go on, but hopefully you get the point. Anytime we place our needs, feelings, desires first, we have made that object or even ourselves a god before God.
Convicted yet? I am, and I am the one writing this. As sinners, we possess “household gods” and it should not be so. And so, put away your household gods and come before God our Father in the name of Jesus. Put away your household gods and praise the One who gives you life; eternal life. Put away your household gods, and know true peace, joy and love. Put away your household gods, confess your sins in the name of Jesus, and God our Father will purify you through forgiveness. No other god can do that. No other god shows grace and mercy like that. None. Zero. Zilch. Put away your household gods and enjoy God your Father.
WHAT NOW: Scripture says that God is a jealous God. He does not share His glory. In essence, He does not share His sandbox with others. When God claims you through the gift of the Holy Spirit in your heart, He has put His mark on you forever. Isn’t it nice to know that God wants you all to Himself?
LET US PRAY: Holy God, what a comfort to know that through Jesus I am Yours. Forgive me of those times when I have put household gods on display in my life. Grant me repentance, for You are my God. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.