EXODUS 24: 4. “You shall not make for yourself an idol.”
At the time his was written people were making idols out of stone, wood, and clay. They believed with their heart of hearts that these man made images, these idols were really the god (s) they worshipped. When Jacob sneaks off into the night to get away from his father-in-law, he takes all the man made idols off the mantle so that his father-n-law will have no gods to pray to or to bless him. If God can be put into some form fashioned out of wood, clay, or stone, he must not be much of a God. To think God can be limited to some kind of man made icon is to place limits on God. It also means that if I leave my God sitting on the mantle I can do anything I want out of his presence. The reality is that God is not limited by time, space, or matter. God is I AM, he is everywhere. Amen.