Summary: As God did to Jacob, Jesus Christ instructs Christians with the Bible, reminds Christians of who they are with God, and calls Christians to worship Him alone!
How many of you have been on some sort of journey?
A journey is traveling from one place to another, usually taking a rather long time. A journey has a starting point and eventually an end point. A journey is passage or progress from one stage to another. Many of us can say that life is a journey. Everyone goes from one stage of life to another! But many people forget about how God is involved in their lives!
God tells us of the journey of a man named Jacob, who became Israel. Jacob’s journey was not only going from place to place as we see in our map, but also transitions in his life. God made sure Jacob remembered his spiritual walk! Please open your Bibles to Genesis 35 and let us learn from Jacob’s journey. Let us read v1-20…….
Please look back briefly to Genesis 34:30…….
God’s Chosen People, Israel, became a stench to the world because of their ungodly acts. God should have given up on them! But because God made a promise, what did God do? Even though God’s People, the Israelites, sinned, God did 3 important things:
1. God instructed Jacob.
2. God gave Jacob reminders.
3. God told Jacob to worship God alone!
God gave His People a way to get back to Him by speaking directly to Jacob. God may be speaking to you today!
And why did God tell Jacob to go to Bethel?
Turn for a moment with me to Genesis 28:10……
It has been over 20 years since Jacob made a vow at Bethel and Jacob finds himself with his people a poor witness to the world. What was significant about God’s command for Jacob to go back to Bethel?
God was reminding Jacob of his vow to God! God also reminded Jacob of his new name and God’s promises in v9-14. Could God be reminding you today of your relationship with Jesus Christ?
And God gave specific instructions for worship:
v1 – build an altar to God
v2 – get rid of foreign gods
v2 – purify selves and change clothes
v4 – bury the idols
What happened when they repented and worshiped God? v5 – they became a testimony to the world!
Now something interesting is noted in v8…………..
This is the only time Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, is mentioned in the Bible! Do you think this Deborah was honored by God’s people?
Out of nowhere, God mentions this woman Deborah and she was buried in God’s Holy place Bethel! Allon Bacuth means the oak of weeping! In other words, many wept at Deborah’s funeral!
Why was there much weeping in Deborah’s funeral?
The only other place in the Bible Deborah was noted is in Genesis 24:59 which says, “So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men.” Now follow along with me on this.
Deborah was Rebekah’s nurse. Rebekah was Jacob’s mother! But we note Deborah traveled with Jacob!
The Bible doesn’t tell us directly but can you see what happened?
Jacob left his mother and father on a journey to find a wife. Jacob married Leah and Rachel and had 12 children in about 20 years. Guess who became a mother to Jacob all that time away from his real mom and dad? – Deborah!!!
Even though she didn’t birth Jacob, Deborah was honored because she was the mother to Jacob and God’s Chosen People Israel for over 20 years! Here’s the point: Any woman, even a servant nurse, can be a mother to someone and receive honor! God can call any woman to serve as a mom to someone! Maybe you’ve answered this call; Praise the Lord! Maybe God is calling you now to be a mom to someone. Let us pause to pray for these special women (you know who you are) who have been called to serve as moms.
And God notes for us the sacrifice of being a mother through Rachel. Rachel died giving birth to a son. Because a precious life is born through a mother, mothers are to be honored always!
God reminds us of honoring our mothers even before the 10 Commandments. But, what else can we learn from Jacob’s Journey? What did Jacob do right? Jacob truly worshiped God and he acted on his calling of leadership.
Let us summarize the biblical principles from this passage.
Our life journeys as Christians are similar to Jacob’s.
The Christian life has a beginning and an end. The beginning of a Christian life is when one realizes that it is not what we do that will get us to heaven but what Jesus did on the cross.
A person becomes a Christian when they believe and receive Jesus Christ as their only Savior and God; and the Christian life is a journey till Jesus takes that Christian to heaven for eternity!