Summary: The believer family’s greatest hope is found when they are walking with God.
Hope for the Family in Crisis Part 2
Key thoughts from George W. Truett’s sermon, "The Spiritual Recovery of the Home"
Apr. 22, 2007 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor
A At a key time in France’s history, Napoleon said, "What France needs now are good mothers."
1 It’s my opinion, that what our nation needs now are not good mothers/fathers, but Godly moms & dads.
2 "’Most children see God the way they perceive their earthly fathers." -James Dobson
B Then God said to Jacob, "Arise, go up to Bethel and live there, and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau." 2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Put away the foreign gods which are among you, and purify yourselves and change your garments; 3 and let us arise and go up to Bethel, and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone." 4 So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods which they had and the rings which were in their ears, and Jacob hid them under the oak which was near Shechem. Gen 35:1-4 (NASB)
1 When Jacob’s family went through their roughest time, he led them back to God for their greatest strength (essence of the text in a sentence).
a The believer’s family’s greatest hope is always found when they are walking with God (essence of the sermon in a sentence).
b I pray you’ll make time to claim the hope God wants to give your family (objective).
2 When will you seek God’s hope (the only hope) for your family? (Probing question).
3 Review of points from last week
a There comes a time when almost every family comes to a crisis.
b There comes a time to take inventory of our household.
c Let’s look at the remaining two times that can help us determine when we’ll seek the hope that only God can give to our families (transitional sentence).
III There comes a time to go back to Bethel.
A Jacob had been in a backslidden condition for decades when we read the text (he had backed off his vows; 3 promises).
1 God called Jacob back to Bethel.
a Jacob was called by God to go back to where he made his vow, commitment, promise to God.
b In his backslidden condition, there was no where else for Jacob to go but back.
2 In v. 1, God also tells him the length of time he was to stay. Then God said to Jacob, "Arise, go up to Bethel and live there, and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau... "settle" NIV, "live there" NASB
a Not just a solo trip, but bring your family
b Jacob was supposed to take his proper place as head of the family & lead them back to Bethel.
c As he retraced his steps, he recovered the lost blessing.
B Maybe you are like Jacob...backslidden condition...gotten away from the vows you made at your Bethel.
1 Remember your salvation experience? Where were you?
a Your Bethel may be an altar, living room chair, beside your bed, Pizza Hut, tent/camp meeting, HGHF, in your car...wherever you gave your heart to Jesus.
aa Confessed, acknowledged Him as Savior & Lord.
bb Acknowledging Jesus as Savior was the fun part! (He rescued us! Saved us! Deliverer! Redeemer, Preserver)
cc He signed our names in the Book of Life.
b Acknowledging Him as Lord is the hard part.
aa Lord (kurios) has power, legal power
bb We asked Him to be Lord (have power over me, own me).
cc He wrote my name in heaven & He wants to write His name all over my life. Lordship!
c We surrendered to Jesus as both Savior & Lord.
2 Believer, if you’ve backslidden, you don’t need to get re-saved, or even have a new experience.
a Remember Bethel in a new way! (Revival)
b Take your family with you (settle/live there)
If going back is the direction, then our final point tells us what to do when we get there (transitional sentence).
IV There comes a time to restore altars
A Altars were places where God’s people offered their sacrifices to Him.
1 The male altar builders of the first half of scripture reads like a Who’s Who of the Old Testament.
a Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Saul, David, & the list goes on & on.
b They built the altars as places to meet with God, or to mark places where God had met them.
2 Jacob had an altar at Bethel So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on its top. Gen 28:18 (NASB), he promised to build it again (v.3) and let us arise and go up to Bethel, and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone. & he did it! So Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him. 7 He built an altar there, and called the place El-bethel, because there God had revealed Himself to him when he fled from his brother. Gen 35:6-7 (NASB) (Notice he took his family with him to the altar).