God’s Faithfulness to Restore

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
God reminded Jacob of the cause of his troubles. Why had he fled from his brother Esau? It was because he had deceived his father, and no doubt he remembered all that had happened at that time, and then of how God had appeared to him at Bethel as he slept on his pillow of stones. He would think of all the wondrous promises which God had made there, and of how he had added his “if” to them all. But God had been faithful all through those long years, even though Jacob had been most un­faithful.
Departing From Iniquity
There is nothing like a sense of the grace of God to make us feel our own failure, and so here as soon as Jacob thought of Bethel, he started to set his house in order. He did not think of the strange gods in his house, and the soiled garments they were wearing, until he thought of going to Bethel ­the house of God. It is a blessed thing to be in a Christian home and to be among the people of God, but it should make us think of that verse “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Timothy 2:19). We do not worship strange gods in these lands, as they do in heathen countries, but we may allow other things to come between us and the Lord. Friends, school, sports, pleasure, or anything to which we give first place in our hearts instead of the Lord can become a “strange god.” Yes, even things that are right in their place can become idols to us if we are not careful. The result of this is that we become “un­clean” or defiled with things here. Because of this Jacob told his house­hold to change their garments. We have to change our associations of life when we find they are a hindrance to our getting to Bethel and dwelling there according to the mind of God.
God’s Preservation and Care
For the first time in many years Jacob spoke of the goodness of God to his family. He takes his stand faithfully before them, telling of how God had heard his cry and answer­ed him in the day of his distress. The result is seen at once in his home. They gave up all their strange gods and their earrings too!
Perhaps your parents have spoken to you of the conduct and dress which is becoming to a Christian — I trust they have. Are you willing to give up anything and everything which is not pleasing to the Lord? Are you willing to do as Jacob did, and bury such things out of sight? Jacob hid them under an oak tree, and leav­ing them all behind, he journeyed on. Paul had things in his life which he once counted “gain,” but after he was saved, the knowledge of Christ made him say, “What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ” (Philippians 3:77But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. (Philippians 3:7)). He had a new object in life — Christ.
Jacob’s family had acted very badly with those at Shechem, but God was gracious to him and kept the cities around from harming him as he jour­neyed to Bethel. As soon as he arrived there, he built an altar to God — the God of Bethel, reminding himself once again of how God had preserved and cared for him. We should never tire of thinking about what the Lord has done for us, and when we get to glory, we shall sing of the blood that re­deemed us for all eternity. Will you be there to join in that song?
Further Meditation
1. What did Jacob do as soon as he thought of Bethel?
2. Clothing in the Word of God is symbolic. What does it represent?
3. The Call of the Bride by W. T. P. Wolston contains a chapter entitled The Bride’s Raiment that you would probably find interesting on this subject of clothing.