THE LONG WAY BACK HOME
“Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.” (Gen 35:1)
God commands Jacob to go back to Bethel and to build an altar there. Altar speaks of sacrifice, of death. It is at Bethel that your body shall become a living sacrifice acceptable to God in worship (Rom 12:1, 2). Finally, Jacob understands God’s purpose for him. He is now ready to obey totally. He asks his people to bring all the hidden idols they have carried from Haran and from Shechem. That is when Rachel probably brings the households idols she stole from her father Laban. The word describing them is connected with Rapha. These were idols Laban used for healing diseases. This idol must die now. They shall trust Jehovah Rapha for their healing from now on.
Jacob buries all idols under a tree. Then they change their clothes. Not all clothes are good for the believers. The world has influenced the church giving the believers a false standard based on lust, covetousness and pride. Spiritually speaking these new garments symbolize to put on Christ and His robe of righteousness. It is not enough to be a Christian ‘in my heart’. You need to show the world that you have changed, that you have left its lust and corruption behind. You need wisdom! Pray that God will reveal to you the new style of dressing, as a priest and king unto Him.
Then God appeared and blessed Jacob AGAIN! (Gen 35:9). Repentance opens the door for fresh encounters with the Living God!
“Dear Holy Spirit we ask for forgiveness and mercy if we have grieved You!”
The women brought their jewelry too. These are not just some fancy ear rings as we see them today in the shops. These were not used for beauty. This jewelry was demonized. They are called talismans or amulets. These are a point of contact for demons, having supernatural power to heal, prevent sickness or danger. Even today in some churches, some priests use a particular cross during sessions of deliverance. Some used ‘holy water’ ‘handkerchiefs soaked in the sweat of the priest’ or other visible means to heal or deliver. These are all idols! The only accepted method for us as children of God is prayer in the name of Jesus and fasting. Occasionally and only led by the Holy Spirit, the laying of hands and anointing with oil can be applied. Nothing more than that should be use by the believers in Christ!
This is another great lesson: We need to repent from any form of idolatry. Anything that comes in between you are God, visible or invisible, must be repented of, confessed as sin and destroyed. This is not an easy process. God wants to prove to Jacob that idolatry kills. The same chapter describes four deaths. Each is a dear family member of Jacob. Sin kills! Idolatry kills! Repent and come back to Bethel, to the Cross of Christ!
In Christ I declare:
I shall dwell in the center of God’s perfect will!
I repent and reject any idol, visible or invisible!
I hate idolatry!
I preach Christ Crucified!
My body is a living sacrifice on God’s altar!
I worship God in Spirit and in Truth!
My family and I, we shall fulfill our destiny!
Holy Spirit come and fill us AGAIN!
In Jesus name