TEXT: Genesis 35:1
Introduction: After fleeing for his life from his brother Esau, Jacob worked 21 years for his Uncle Laban in Padan-Aram to gain Laban’s two daughters, Lean and Rachel, as wives. Unfortunately, Laban and his family were idolaters, and when Jacob sneaked away, Rachel stole her father’s gods to take with her.
In fact, one of the main reasons which Laban gave for chasing after Jacob and his company was that he wanted his gods back. Therefore, when Jacob finally arrived back in Canaan, God had some special instructions for him. Read TEXT.
God was calling upon Jacob to do some things that would help him remember and renew his earlier commitment to the Lord. We can learn important lessons from God’s instructions to Jacob as we find that He issues to each of us…
I. We have the precept of renewal--“Arise”
A. God gave Jacob a command, and Jacob submitted and obeyed: Gen. 35:2-7
B. In order to please God, we must likewise have an attitude of submission that will lead to the action of obedience to His commands: Matt. 7:21, Rom. 6:17-18
C. God also commands us to arise: Eph. 5:14-18
II. We have the place of renewal--“go up to Bethel and dwell there”
A. Why Bethel? Because that’s where God had appeared to him when he fled from the face of Esau his brother: Gen. 28:10-22
B. As Israel moved farther from God, the prophets often called on them to return to the Lord: Jer. 3:12-15
C. In like manner, there may be times in our lives when we need to return to our first love: Rev. 2:1-6
III. We have the purpose of renewal--“make an altar there to God”—or in other words, get right with God
A. Obviously, the building of altars to offer sacrifices was an important part of God’s plan for making people right with Him during Patriarchal times: Gen. 8:20, 12:8, 26:23-25
B. Of course, we don’t need altars to offer sacrifices because Jesus is our perfect sacrifice: Heb. 9:11-14
C. What we need to do to get right with God is to obey His will: 1 Pet. 3:21, Rev. 3:14-19
Conclusion: Importance of spiritual renewal: Eph. 4:22-24, Col. 3:9-11
If you’re not right with God, then you need to be renewed in the spirit of your mind.

By Wayne S. Walker

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