Monday, October 19, 2020

2020.10.19 Hopewell @Home ▫ Genesis 35:1–8

Read Genesis 35:1–8

Questions from the Scripture text: Who speaks to Jacob in Genesis 35:1? Where does He tell him to go? What does He tell him to do there? How does God describe Himself in verse 1? What does Jacob say to whom in Genesis 35:2—what three things does he command? Where does he say that they are going in Genesis 35:3, to do what? What does he call God in this verse? What do they all give Jacob in Genesis 35:4? What does he do with them? What keeps the cities around them from pursuing them in Genesis 35:5? To where does Jacob come in Genesis 35:6? In what land? Who else comes there? What does Jacob build there (Genesis 35:7)? What does he call the place? Why? Who dies there (Genesis 35:8)? Where do they bury her? What do they call the place?

After not hearing from God at all in chapter 34, chapter 35 begins, “And God said.” We would be justified in wincing a little… this is going to be painful.

Or is it? Well, yes it will be… if you happen to be the choicest lamb in Jacob’s herd.

Amazingly, God comes to this backsliding, stumbling father whose spiritual failings have been so catastrophic for so many, and welcomes—really, commands(!)—him back into fellowship. 

God to Jacob in Genesis 35:1: Go to Bethel and make an altar.

Jacob to his household in Genesis 35:3: Let’s go to Bethel, where I’ll make an altar.

God to us in Genesis 35:6-7: So Jacob came to Bethel and built an altar.

Coming to God via His altar provokes our repentance. When we know we are going to partake of His holy sacrifice, we do things like put away our idols, purify ourselves spiritually, and take whatever earthly measures are necessary to prepare and to show reverence. (Genesis 35:2)

Coming to God via His altar is the proper response to the goodness of God. He has answered our distress. He has been with us in the way. (Genesis 35:3)

Coming to God via His altar preserves our remembering. It is there that God recalls to us how He has been with us, and the promises that He has made to us. (Genesis 35:7)

Coming to God via His altar progresses our redemption. In all of this, God was pointing Jacob to Christ, stirring up the faith of the faltering patriarch. And God has given us an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. Christ brings us to His table. The sacrifice is no longer dead; He feeds us upon Himself from His throne in glory. He strengthens our faith in Himself. He assures us of His covenant and gladdens us in His covenant benefits.

What a gracious God we serve, who brings His stumbling saints to His altar, and His table to worship Him!

What are some ways that God’s weekly calling back to you to worship Him help you in your Christian walk?

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH413 “Revive Thy Work, O Lord”

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