Go Back To The Lord!

Go Back To The Lord!

Preacher Huijun - 28 November 2020

Go Back To The Lord!

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Genesis 35 

1 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.”

2 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.3 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.” 4 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. 5 Then they set out, and the terror of God fell on the towns all around them so that no one pursued them.

6 Jacob and all the people with him came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan. 7 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.

8 Now Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried under the oak outside Bethel. So it was named Allon Bakuth.

9 After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. 10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.” So he named him Israel.

11 And God said to him, “I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will be among your descendants. 12 The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.” 13 Then God went up from him at the place where he had talked with him.

14 Jacob set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it. 15 Jacob called the place where God had talked with him Bethel.

 

A reform needed.

1) Without reform, idols and compromise persist.

2) Purification needed.

  • When spirit, heart and mind not pure >>> breeding ground for Satan to work
  • Are we holding onto anything ‘foreign’ to the Christian faith?
  • Jacob did 3 things to purify:
    • Obeyed
    • Threw (separated)
    • Changed clothes
  • Cleansing starts from the heart  actions

 

Go back to God.

* Not so much about location, but the heart for God.

* Not so much about church building, but what we believe and how we live.

1) Remember our first love for God.

  • Daily spiritual activities easily become bland.
  • But should remember our “Bethel moment”.
  • “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first…” <Rev 2:4-5> 

 

2) When go back to God, will hear from Him again.

  • May not hear ‘new’ things, but affirmation of ‘good old promises’.

 

What next after we are well with God?

  • Not necessarily ‘trials-free’ thereafter.
  • 4 sad things for Jacob in <Gen 35>: 3 deaths (Rebekah’s nurse, Rachel, Isaac) and son Reuben’s adultery with his concubine.

 

Genesis 35

16 Then they moved on from Bethel. While they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and had great difficulty. 17 And as she was having great difficulty in childbirth, the midwife said to her, “Don’t despair, for you have another son.” 18 As she breathed her last—for she was dying—she named her son Ben-Oni. But his father named him Benjamin.

19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).

21 Israel moved on again and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder. 22 While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard of it.

27 Jacob came home to his father Isaac in Mamre, near Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed. 28 Isaac lived a hundred and eighty years. 29 Then he breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, old and full of years. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

  • Though painful, trials help put God back in the centre of our lives.

 

Reflection

1) Are there any areas in which we need to purify ourselves? Any idols or things not aligned with the gospel to ‘throw out’? How can we ‘change our clothes’ and start afresh, being cleansed?

2) Are we losing our first love for God? Can we still recall the sweetest goodness we have tasted of God? How can we find back that first love and guard ourselves from losing it again?

Preacher Huijun
Preacher Huijun
huijun@lifechurchmissions.com

Huijun joined The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) as a preacher in 2012. She is effectively bilingual and preaches occasionally at the Chinese service. She graduated from Singapore Bible College and currently lives in Singapore with her husband, Chengji.

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