Last week the European court of human rights decided that a B.A. employee had the right to wear a cross to work. It was a seen as a landmark victory for religious freedom.
Jacob and his two wives Leah and Rachel were striking out for a bit of freedom when they took the chance to escape from Laban’s household while he was off shearing the sheep on some distant fields. And they were going because God had told them too. S0 why, oh why did Rachel steal her father’s household images/gods and take them with her(Genesis 31:19)? I don’t believe it was because she venerated them in any way, or she would never have sat on them (v34)
- Did she think they had power to inform Laban of their whereabouts?
- Did she want to remove them from Laban, in the hope he would turn instead to the one true God?
- Did she consider them valuable – in place of her lost inheritance?
- Did she feel the need for a bit of a prop in going to her in-laws – a ‘lucky charm’?
- Were they just a little memento to remind her of home?
I don’t suppose we’ll ever know the real reason. But here’s my thoughts on the matter.
God Almighty had promised that he would go with them (v3). These household gods went with them too. Spot the difference! The household gods went with them because Rachel decided they would, and simply took them. God Almighty went with them because he chose to.
I’m glad Nadia Eweida won the right to wear her cross at work, and it’s great when we can have uncurtailed freedom to exercise our faith; but we never should think that God goes with us in some special way just because we wear a cross, or carry a bible, or have Christian bumper stickers on our car. God goes with us because he chooses to, and because he has promised to. Let us never, never forget how awesomely powerful God us. Let us never, never take him for granted.