Bible Pathway - Jan. 12, 2011

Highlights:

Don't miss the real reason Dinah was disgraced; Jacob's return to Bethel; Abrahamic Covenant renewed with Jacob; Jacob told to return to Bethel (the House of God), but stops at Succoth; When we're out of the perfect will of God we're susceptible to sinful harm (chap. 34); The household "cleans up," throws out strange gods, heads home, and worships God (Gen. 35:1-7).; Jacob has a famous name change! (35:9-15); Rachel's death.

After Jacob had made peace with Laban and then with Esau, he continued on his journey to Bethel and completed the vows (promises) which he had made with God twenty years earlier (Gen. 28:20-21). But just three miles from the promised land, he arrived at the well-watered plains of Succoth with the convenient markets of Shechem nearby, and his family became friends with the Canaanites. He built him an house (33:17). . . . And he erected there an altar (33:20). Ten years passed swiftly. During this time Jacob's neglect to fulfill the will of God led to his daughter's friendship with Shechem, the prince of this Canaanite country where a series of sinful events took place.

Jacob realized that drastic changes were needed in his family and he again looked to God. And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother. Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel (35:1-3).

Three things that Jacob said to his family have a parallel for Christians. First he said: Put away the strange Gods — a reminder that the old habits of sin must be forsaken. Then he said: Be clean, and change your garments — a reminder to follow . . . holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Heb. 12:14). Thirdly, he worshiped God. We are to worship only God: Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve (Luke 4:8). His will must be our priority at all times.

When considering our earthly needs, there is a great danger of overlooking the will of God. This often results in worldly attractions controlling our families' hearts and often leads to heartbreaking consequences. Difficult circumstances will remind us to renew our relationship with God on His terms. For the love of money (even for your necessities) is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (I Tim. 6:10).

Thought for Today:

The first step of a relationship with God is obedience to His Word.

Christ Revealed:

As God Almighty, El Shaddai, the All-Sufficient One (Gen. 35:11). Jesus is the Lord . . . which is . . . the Almighty (Rev. 1:8).

Word Studies:

34:2 defiled raped; 34:3 his soul clave unto his heart was set on; (see 34:4,12); 34:7 wrought folly in brought dishonor and shame into; 34:19 deferred not did not delay; 34:20 gate place of administration; 34:27 spoiled plundered; 35:1 Bethel house of God; 35:2 strange false; 35:12 seed eb> descendants; 36:7 bear support; 36:15 dukes chiefs of the tribes.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Rick Hash • Government Official: Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX) • Country: Poland (38.6 million) in eastern Europe • Major language: Polish • Religious freedom • 96% Roman Catholic (including Greek Catholic — .31%); 1.56% Orthodox; .5% Protestant; .01% Muslim; .01% Far Eastern Religions; 1.7% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Don't try to impress others with your prayers; pray about whatever is on your heart (Matt. 6:7-8).

Optional Reading: Matthew 12

Memory Verse for the Week: Deuteronomy 4:2

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