God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.” 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. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods that they had, and the rings that were in their ears. Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree that was near Shechem. (Genesis 35:1–4 ESV)
Hiding under the terebinth tree is suppose to be our idols. Hiding under the terebinth tree is suppose to lie the objects that hinder us from worship. They are to be parted with. They are to be buried from our sight much like the dead. Idols should be considered as a dead body, for that is what they are. There is no eternal life in our idols, but only inscriptions which point to death and hell. We should not bury them where we live, eat, or sleep; but rather in an obscure place along the path were we might never find them again.
Idols hinder us from worship. They weight us down with pain and guilt. They take our focus away from God. They are cumbersome to carry and maintain. They bring shame when someone finds them. They break every command in the decalog, as they become our God, they demand our worship, they cause us to dishonor and blaspheme the name of the Lord, they take away our rest of conscience, they bring dishonor to parents and those in authority over us, they breed anger in our hearts, they bring lust, they steal our heart, they lie to us, and they sow a million seeds of covetousness. Idols hinder us in every way from true worship.
Jesus tells us whatever causes us to sin is to be cut off and thrown away! For it is better to loose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell. (Matthew Chapter 5)
What is hiding under your terebinth tree? What should be?