Genesis 35:1-7, 9
- God invites us to recognize Him (v1).
- We lay down what needs to be laid down before coming to God (v2-4, 7).
- God blesses those who recognize Him (v9).
Jacob had just made peace with his twin brother Esau and God called him back to Bethel. He ordered his whole household to "put away the strange gods that are among [them], and be clean" (v2). Upon arriving at Bethel, he built an altar for the Lord, and He blessed him.
Jacob recognized God's mighty hand in what had happened between him and Esau. It was God who made a way for them to be reconciled (Genesis 32-33). God had also helped him with his problems with his father-in-law, Laban (Genesis 31). He was humbled by the grace God had shown him. Jacob had been true to his name: a deceiver, supplanter, one who takes by the heel. He hadn't been that good. But God had rescued him even from the problems he himself had caused. In our text, Jacob comes back to thank God for everything.
Since the place where they were commanded to go was "the house of God" (the meaning of the name Bethel), Jacob commanded everyone with him to make themselves presentable to God, as said in verse 2 of the text. God is in His 'house' and He is God over it (hence the name El-bethel). In what Jacob and company had done, they recognized God as the Lord of the place--the Lord of their world, the Lord of their lives.
Because Jacob gave God the credit due to Him, God had blessed him (v9-12). Jacob was renamed Israel--a prince with God (Genesis 32:28, 35:10)--and was given the same promise God had made with his grandfather Abraham and father Isaac (Genesis 35:11).
Recognizing God--in joy or in pain--opens our eyes to God Himself, His blessings and His will for us.
April 9, 2012
April 9, 2012
Image credits to Daily Reflections.