"Why did you steal my gods?"

Richard Huls

READ : Genesis 31:2-33

The question today is shocking! Laban, the father-in-law of Jacob, chases Jacob and his wives. Finally catching up with them, he demands, “Why did you steal my gods?” Did the daughters of Laban worship these gods? Obviously, Rachel, who had taken the idols, believed they held some kind of power or she wouldn’t have taken them.

The issue about stealing gods is relevant for us. We all seem to need a god of some sort, and without that god we feel very insecure. Unless we know the true God, the God described in the Old Testament and in Jesus Christ, we will probably seek another god to worship and serve. These gods may be money, power, self, pride, greed, sex or many other things. It becomes a problem when these gods are taken.

Youth can be a god. When it fades into old age, people complain because it cannot be recovered. Money is often a god. When it is gone, people may react with suicide and depression. Even human relationships can be gods. When there is a personal loss through death, rejection or disappointment, the urge to live collapses and cynical attitudes take over.

There are two problem-solving responses to Laban’s question. One be happy we have lost our gods because they aren’t real anyway. Second acknowledge the true God who can never be stolen.

PRAYER Lord, may all false gods be stolen from us so we can find you, our true God. In Christ’s name. Amen.