Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who has been with me wherever I have gone.” (Genesis 35:2–3)
Here’s a pivotal moment for Jacob. All hell was breaking loose in his family. His sons had just slain and plundered the Shechemites to avenge the violation of their sister (Gen. 34). Lust, violence, greed, and deceit were on full display, indicating that something wasn’t right in Jacob’s life: he was procrastinating obedience to God (31:3, cf. 33:18).
That’s when God spoke and called him back to Bethel (35:1)—the very place where He promised, “I am with you and will keep you wherever you go” (28:15).
But Jacob knew he wasn’t yet ready to go back to Bethel. Residual effects of his disobedience remained: his sons possessed the Shechemites’ idols (34:29), and had also become unclean via contact with their corpses (34:27)—both of which were forbidden for Hebrews.
The idols had to go. The impurities had to be cleansed. Their garments had to be changed. Only then would they be ready to worship faithfully at Bethel.
Like Jacob, God has given us a pivotal moment—right now. As we look toward Sunday, He’s speaking to us, calling us to get ready. So prayerfully ask yourself, What do I need to put away to be “Bethel-ready” this Sunday? Is there an idol I’m holding on to? An act of obedience I’ve been procrastinating? A pet sin I’m coddling?
Only when we’ve really dealt with such things before the Lord will we be truly ready to gather in His presence.
“…put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires and…put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22, 24)
Set List for Sunday, January 21, 2018:
This Is Amazing Grace by Bethel Live (J. Farro, J. Riddle, P. Wickham)
God Undefeatable by Austin Stone Worship (M. Carter, A. Ivey, R. King)
O Praise The Name by Hillsong Worship (B. Hastings, M. Sampson, D. Ussher)
I Stand Amazed (How Marvelous) by Passion (C. H. Gabriel, C. Tomlin)
In Christ Alone by Passion (K. Getty, S. Townend)
What A Beautiful Name by Hillsong Worship (B. Fielding, B. Ligertwood)
You can also listen to a playlist of LifePoint’s current song rotation on Spotify.