Genesis 35:1-8: Get back!

“Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altarthere to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.” So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes.Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.” So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem. Then they set out, and the terror of God fell on the towns all around them so that no one pursued them. Jacob and all the people with him came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan. There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother. Now Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried under the oak outside Bethel. So it was named Allon Bakuth.” NIV

There can come a time where you recognise that you need to ‘get back to where you once belonged.’ You once had an experience of God which was real, meaningful and unmistakable. He spoke to you; you know it. Furthermore, you spoke to Him in response and made certain promises. But somehow you have lost your way; you have ‘backslidden’ from that high point. You haven’t walked as closely with the Lord as you intended. Like Jacob, you too can get back. But the process will not be without pain. It will entail real repentance – the jettisoning of some things which ought not to be in your world. You cannot worship God and idols at the same time. Jacob showed strong spiritual leadership in his household. The ceremonies they went through expressed a change of heart.  You will not regret coming back to God. His blessing will be upon you. But there are no guarantees that you will not face sadness. Loss is an inevitable part of life in this world. There is more to come in this chapter.

PRAYER: Holy Lord, help me to return to you with all my heart.