Setting Aside the Sinful Idols March 12, 2014

In Genesis 35 God tells Jacob to move to Bethel and build an altar  to worship the Lord. One of the first things Jacob does is have his household get rid of all their idols. It seems Jacob understands that if he is going to worship the one true God, he must get rid of any idols they might have.

As I reflect on this I am reminded of Hebrews 12:1-3 where we read: Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.NIV

The witnesses who have gone before us have demonstrated that a life of faith is possible and that such a life is valued in the eyes of God. So we are challenged to get rid of whatever it is that might be hindering us, especially the sin that entangles us. Picture trying to run with vines wrapped around your legs. That is what sin does for us. It grabs us and keeps us from fulfilling what God has for us. We must throw off the sin.

Notice, however, that we must also replace the sinful activities and thoughts with a pursuit of what God has for us—if all we do is attempt to stop sinning, we just create a vacuum and if we don’t fill that vacuum with Jesus, we will sooner or later be back in sin.

We keep our eyes on Jesus and what He has for us—that is the new focus.