Summary: This is a study of the book of Genesis. Genesis and Revelation are two of the most disputed books in the Bible. The premise of this study is the foundation of creation.
Note: When doing a study on a book in the Bible you use a lot of resources. The major influence for me on this study of Genesis is The Genesis Record by Henry Morris.
We have seen what I call a roller coast effect in the life of Jacob. If we were to chart it on the board it would look like this. First he is with Laban. Not really listening to the Lord just being his own self. Then the Lord takes him to Penial. Here he wrestles with the Lord. He holds onto him until he blesses him. This seem to be great. Everything was going along good. But you could still see that he was not totally there. It reminds me of a Christian who has not been sanctified. What is sanctification? Sure he has accepted the Lord in his life. He wants to follow the Lord but he must first deal with the old man. Until the old man is crucified and taken away then he will never truly be committed. Jacob was here. Dealing with sin. Making ungodly decisions like staying at Schechem. Then we see the trouble that happens and the hurendous slaughter. So he is back on the bottom. Here we come to chapter 35. Now let us look and see as Jacob takes another ride with the Lord. Lets see what direction he will go.
1. And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.
Note also: Jacob said in Genesis 28:21 "So that I come again to my father’s house in
peace; then shall the LORD be my God: 22 And this stone, which I have set [for] a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely
give the tenth unto thee.
Jacob has been in this land for around 7-8 years and he has forgotten Bethel. Bethel "the house of God"
How many people do I know who has forgotten Bethel. Who has forgotten that promise that they made to the Lord that when they returned to this land they would remember Bethel.
Ecclesiastes 5:4. When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for [he
hath] no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.
Jacob deferred payment for 8 yrs. Now it is time for the Lord to collect.
(What is the meaning of the word Bethel? the house of God. What happened to Jacob at Bethel? Jacob’s ladder. So it is time to go back and return to this place the God made the promise. Oh if we could only return to where we were. If we could go back. Remember the experience that you had at Bethel. How I hear about the old time. How I hear about the spirit moving. What is the difference? What is the change? Maybe we need to get back to Bethel.
But how do we prepare to get there? let us look at verse 2.)
2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that [were] with him, Put away the strange gods that [are] among you, and be clean, and change your garments:
What a dirty family this must have been? Idols, habits, dirty in sin, the blood of Shechem on the hands of Levi and Simeon. They must be cleaned.
(Now let us look at this. What is it that must happen before they can return to Bethel?
1) "Put away the strange gods that are among you"
Remember someone in the camp who brought a god from Laban. Who was that? Now we see it has infested the camp. It had gotten all over and now it seems that a lot of people were participating. Enough for Jacob to speak to his whole house hold.
I want us to note also that it would appear that Jacob already knew about these god’s before his talk with the Lord. He had to know about their worship. But he never did anything about it. But he had an experience with the true God he had no doubt now so he takes the lead and begins to get rid of the idols.
Oh if our church people could get rid of their idols. If they could put them away. The money, the pleasure, the pride, oh how much better we would be. How we could truly have revival.
2) Be clean.
You are dirty. You stink with the odor of sin and now it is time for a spiritual washing. " be clean". It is time to confess. It is time to come forth and be clean.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us