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Summary: FOCAL POINT: LEAVING SHECHEM BEHIND

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THE BETHEL JOURNEY

PART 1 OF A 2 PART SERIES

GENESIS 35: 1-12

FOCAL POINT: LEAVING SHECHEM BEHIND

INTRODUCTION:

THE CHRISTIAN WALK IS A JOURNEY. IT HAS A DISTINCT BEGINNING AND A CONCLUSIVE END. THE JOURNEY IS WORTH ENDURING AND ENDS IN YOUR FATHER’S HOUSE. FOLLOW THE JOURNEY OF JACOB AND PONDER EACH STEP OF THE JOURNEY. NAME STUDIES ARE IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND THE CONTEXT OF THIS STUDY. JACOB (HEEL CATHCHER/SUPPLANTER) WAS LATER RENAMED (ISRAEL-HE WILL RULE AS GOD), BETHEL (HOUSE OF GOD), SHECHEM (PLACE OF BURDEN) BETHEL WAS THE PLACE WHERE GOD CONFIRMED ABRAHAM’S COVENANT TO JACOB (GENESIS 28: 13-15)

EXPOSITION:

GENESIS 35: 1-4

IT IS ALWAYS A GOOD THING TO HEAR FROM GOD AND OBEY HIS COMMAND. JAMES 1: 19 “SO THEN, MY BELOVED BRETHREN, LET EVERY MAN BE SWIFT TO HEAR, SLOW TO SPEAK, SLOW TO WRATH.” (NKJV) JACOB RECOGNIZED GOD’S VOICE AND HIS SOVEREIGN LEADERSHIP. UNDER THE DIRECTIVE OF GOD ALONE, HE STARTS HIS JOURNEY TO BETHEL. JOHN 8:12 “THE JESUS SPOKE TO THEM AGAIN, SAYING, I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. HE WHO FOLLOWS ME SHALL NOT WALK IN DARKNESS, BUT HAVE THE LIGHT OF LIFE.” (NKJV) IT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE THAT JACOB’S WILLINGNESS TO HEAR AND OBEY THE VOICE OF GOD CAME AFTER A COMPLETE DEBACLE OF HIS FAMILY AT SHECHEM (PLACE OF BURDEN), RECORDED IN GENESIS, CHAPTER 34.

LOOK HOW QUICKLY JACOB RESPONDED TO GOD’S DIRECTIVE. HE KNEW HE MUST REMOVE ANYTHING THAT WOULD OBSTRUCT HIS JOURNEY. HE STARTED BY DESTROYING PAGAN IDOLS IN HIS MIDST. WHERE DID THE IDOLS COME FROM? THEY CAME FROM THE PAGAN ENVIRONMENT (A PLACE OF BURDEN). SOME OF THESE IDOLS REPRESENTED WEALTH; SOME WERE GOOD LUCK CHARMS. JACOB CLEANED HIS HOUSE AND WANTED OTHERS TO DO THE SAME. HE GATHERED UP THE IDOLS AND BURIED THEM WHERE? HE BURIED THEM AT SHECHEM-PLACE OF BURDEN. IT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE THAT RUTH, JACOB’S SECOND WIFE, STOLE THESE IDOLS FROM HER FATHER’S HOUSEHOLD (GENESIS 31: 19 AND 34-35).

THE WASHING OF CLOTHING SIGNIFIED A NEW BEGINNING: DIRT DEFILES CLOTHING. PSALMS 51:2 “WASH ME THOROUGHLY FROM MY INIQUITY, AND CLEANSE ME FROM MY SIN.” BEFORE GIVING THE LAW OF MT. SINAI, MOSES COMMANDED THE PEOPLE TO WASH THEIR CLOTHING, A SYMBOL OF TAKING ON A COVENANT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD. (EXODUS 19: 9-15) REF: HEBREWS 12:1

APPLICATION: BELIEVER, SUCCESS IN YOUR SPIRITUAL WALK MEANS LEAVING SHECHEM BEHIND!

REF: NKJV STUDY BIBLE, LIFE APPLICATION STUDY BIBLE, TSB STUDY BIBLE BY WARREN WIERSBE, F. B. MEYER DEVOTIONAL COMMENTARY, MACARTHUR STUDY BIBLE, DR. CONSTABLE’S NOTES ON GENESIS


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