So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. Genesis 35:2
As presented on *The Lutheran Hour® by Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, February 8, 1959.
The season of Lent is a good time for housecleaning homes and hearts. It is a time set aside by the church for going into the corners of life which people have had a tendency to neglect. Jacob discovered in the corners of his household a monstrous problem calling for drastic action: “Get rid of the foreign gods,” he said, “and purify yourselves.”
Idolatry is seeking of self rather than God. It echoes Satan’s words, which started all of this process: “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5). True worship of the true God recognizes the great gulf existing between the quality of life we are disposed to live and the sacrifice of God’s only Son on the cross.
God is a God of justice and also a God of love. In the cross of Christ, justice and love have met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. The real God is a relentless pursuer who gives no peace until our religiosity is transformed into repentance and faith.
The words of Jacob have a modern ring: “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you.” Love for God allows nothing else to take first place; only God can hold that place. With this love the god of materialism goes out the window. That insanity that makes men pursue things as if they were gods is replaced by a new and holier affection. Life acquires a new center and a new direction. That center is God, and that direction is God-ward.
O Lord, help me to put aside everything that distracts me from You. May my life be renewed through Jesus Christ. Help me clean house and let You take over. Amen.
Taken from A Message of Hope: Proclaiming the Cross (selections from messages broadcast on *The Lutheran Hour, celebrating 75 years of proclaiming the promise).
Copyright © 2006 by Lutheran Hour Ministries
*The Lutheran Hour is the longest-running Christian radio broadcast in the world. It is a production of Lutheran Hour Ministries. For more information, visit www.lutheranhour.org.