So Jacob told everyone in his household, “Get rid of all your pagan idols, purify yourselves, and put on clean clothing. We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has been with me wherever I have gone.” – Genesis 35:2-3 (NLT)
Following God’s instruction, Jacob decided to take his family and return to the place where he started on his journey. He was going back to “Beth-el” (literally “the house of God”). And like Abraham and Isaac before him, Jacob built an altar to God, marking the spot set apart for worship. It is interesting to note the preparation that took place; a destruction of idols, physical cleansing, and a change of clothes – all signifying a break with the past and the beginning of a new life.
For some of us, a return to Beth-el is also necessary. Like Jacob, some of us have been wasting our lives, not living in the faith that God has provided for us. And there comes a time when we recognize that God has been with us through that entire period of time, just waiting for us to stop, recognize His presence, and bow down to worship.
Are you prepared for the journey? All that’s necessary is a destruction of that which has taken God’s rightful place in our lives, a willingness to be cleansed through repentance, and a desire to bow down before God in worship. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to take the trip. Is anyone coming with me?
PRAYER THOUGHT: Father, forgive me when I’ve strayed from You. Today, I return to Your house.