(1Walk Thru The Word for Today: Gen. 35: 1- 4 (ESV)

(Israel Is Ordered To Put Away Idols) 

1God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.” 2So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments. 3Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” 4So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods that they had, and the rings that were in their ears. Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree that was near Shechem.

(2) Walk Thru The Word for Today: Gen. 35: 58 (ESV)

(Terror Falls On The Enemies Israel Who Arrives At Bethel) 

5And as they journeyed, a terror from God fell upon the cities that were around them, so that they did not pursue the sons of Jacob. 6And Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him, 7and there he built an altar and called the place El-bethel, because there God had revealed himself to him when he fled from his brother. 8And Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died, and she was buried under an oak below Bethel. So he called its name Allon-bacuth.  Today we continue our journey through Genesis. This series could be called, “Getting To Know God Through Genesis.” This is because we see how God introduces Himself to the patriarchs of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, just as He introduces… Click To Tweet

(3) Walk Thru The Word for Today:  Gen. 35: 9-15 (ESV)

(God Changes Jacob’s Name To Israel) 

9God appeared to Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. 10And God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” So he called his name Israel. 11And God said to him, “I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body. 12The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you.” 13Then God went up from him in the place where he had spoken with him. 14And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he had spoken with him, a pillar of stone. He poured out a drink offering on it and poured oil on it. 15So Jacob called the name of the place where God had spoken with him Bethel.

(4) Walk Thru The Word for Today:  Gen. 34: 1622 (ESV)

(Rachel Dies Birthing Benjamin) 

16Then they journeyed from Bethel. When they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel went into labor, and she had hard labor. 17And when her labor was at its hardest, the midwife said to her, “Do not fear, for you have another son.” 18And as her soul was departing (for she was dying), she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.19So Rachel died, and she was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem), 20and Jacob set up a pillar over her tomb. It is the pillar of Rachel’s tomb, which is there to this day. 21Israel journeyed on and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.

22While Israel lived in that land, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine. And Israel heard of it.

(5) Walk Thru The Word for Today:  Gen. 35: 22-29 (ESV)

(The 12 Sons Of Israel Listed Jacob & Esau Bury Isaac)

22… Now the sons of Jacob were twelve. 23The sons of Leah: Reuben (Jacob’s firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. 24The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 25The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant: Dan and Naphtali. 26The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant: Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram.

27And Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, or Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had sojourned. 28Now the days of Isaac were 180 years. 29And Isaac breathed his last, and he died and was gathered to his people, old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

(6) Message map:

Genesis 33: 120

Israel Must Bury Its Idols Before IT Worships At Bethel

  • Worship Requires Us to respond to the Responsibilities God Gives Us
  • Israel responds to the call To Worship God at bethel by burying its Idols. (Israel Must Bury Its Idols Before IT Worships At Bethel)
  • the god Jacob (AND WE) SERVE IS ONE WHO accompanies US and answers our prayers
  • 3 Deaths & A troublesome Incident are recorded: i) Rebekah’s Nurse dies. ii) Rachael Dies & iii) Ruben sins & iv) Isaac dies.
  • God Extends The Abrahamic Covenant to Jacob As He Extends The New Covenant to us!

Welcome & Call To Worship: Mrs. Donna LaPoint.  Let’s Pray that God Works In Us To Make Us More Dedicated Disciples Who Bury Our Idols Before You At Our Personal Bethels - where we remember the places where You graciously have met with us, and blessed us! Click To Tweet

Donna’s OPENING:

Today we continue our journey through Genesis.  This series could be called, “Getting To Know God Through Genesis.”  This is because we see how God introduces Himself to the patriarchs of Abraham, Issac and Jacob, just as He introduces Himself to us.

Today we will walk through Genesis chapter 35 where God tells Jacob and the Israelites to “Bury your idols before you come to worship Me in Bethel.  Bethel is symbolic of the place where we first met God.  In Genesis 28: 10-18 we saw Jacob have his dream at Bethel.  That’s where he first encountered God in a “Born Again” experience, where he Awakened, and suddenly became aware of Who God Is and that He has a plan for Jacob’s life.

Today we will see God call Jacob back to Bethel.  This is symbolic of how God calls all of us back to the place where we first met Him.  We each need to periodically be called back to God as our first love.

Let’s pray as we enter worship in song and in the Word!

(7) Genesis 35: 1 – Worship Requires Us to respond to the Responsibilities God Gives Us Our responsibilities in our relationship with god are to be obedient to …

  • 1ARISE, (from lying dead, being smitten, wounded) go up to Bethel
  • and dwell (Luke 19:13 KJV Jesus tells The Parable of the Ten Minas, “And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.” Occupy” means to manage profitably the capital (time, talent and treasure) God gives you. Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary says, To Occupy is to seize or take possession. Occupy also means to possess as a tenant.
  • The person who first occupies land which has no owner, has the right of property. (God is the 1st owner. God owns everything, and we dwell in or occupy a land at the direction and prerogative of God.  So just because Canaanites or any other people are in a land, and they are not doing what God requires of man – per Micah 6:8, where God says, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” then they are squatters on His land, and He will remove nations and pluck up peoples as He wills.
  • Make (behave & observe) an alter there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.”  An altar is a designated place where …
  1. we set ourselves apart to worship God in the manner He prescribes
  2. we seek forgiveness, which is initiated by believing, Gen 15:6 Abraham believed God and it was accredited to Him as righteousness & John 3:16
  3. atonement is made by God accepting sacrifices that satisfies His wrath against our sin, so we obtain forgiveness
  4. we dedicate (commit, pledge) ourselves to God & His Will for our lives.

 (8) Gen 35: 2 — Before Israel Worships At Bethel It Must Bury Its Idols 

To worship God, 2Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him Israel must

  • “Put away the foreign (not part of Gods prescription, so it is alien, heathen, pagan strange of another family, tribe, or nation) gods (representative of divine majesty and power, who are honored in a shrine, which is a place regarded as holy because of its associations with a divinity or a sacred person or relic, typically marked by a building or other construction.).
  • and purify (make or declare ceremonially clean) yourselves
  • Change their garments, as the outer garb symbolizes a renewed and transformed heart and mind.
  • Note, that an idol is not loving your boat so much that you skip church on Sunday. It could be, but this is not what the Bible is talking about. It is talking about the items you designate to believe that they enhance worship, which typically is prayer, and includes rosary beads used to worship Mary in terms the Bible does not state.  We don’t say, “Hail Mary full of grace,” because Mary was not full of grace.  She was a sinner overshadowed by The Holy Spirit to become impregnated to provide the virgin birth of Christ.

Luke 11: 27-28 27As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” 28But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Luke 14: 16 ESV “If anyone comes to me and does not hate (NLT, “by comparison”) his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

Matt 15:6 … you have made void the commandment of God for your tradition.”  Tradition =  instruction that comes “from close-beside” Scripture, but is second hand, once removed from the original text and meaning, and which then continues to be handed over and passed on from one generation to the next.

Void = ascribing an authority that is non-binding in God’s eyes, and in favor of which you annul, make of no effect, or cancel what The Bible actually says!

(9) JacobS god (WHO ALSO IS OUR GOD) accompanies and answers our prayers

Gen 35: 3 & 6 3Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress (affliction and trouble due to my own sin, which in Jacob’s case was when he was running from having deceived his father to defraud his brother, Esau of his birthright.  Rom 5:8 8But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Therefore, since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from wrath through Him!) and has been with (accompanied, appeared and ministered to) me wherever I have gone.”

This in Gen 35: 6 we see … 6And Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him, 7and there he built an altar and called the place El-bethel, (El = God of Bethel) because there God had revealed himself to him when he fled from his brother.

(10) Israel Sets Itself Apart by Surrendering Its Idols

Gen 35: 4 4So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods that they had, and the rings that were in their ears. Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree that was near Shechem.

The foreign Gods included ….

  • Those teraphim — household deities or images, Rachael stole from her father, Laban in Gen 31:19.
  • Those they presumably captured as spoils when they ransacked and took spoils from Shechem in Gen 34.
  • rings that were in their ears — worn as amulets or charms..

Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary on Idols —

An image, form or representation, usually of a man or other animal, consecrated as an object of worship; a pagan deity. Idols are usually statues or images, carved out of wood or stone, or formed of metals, particularly silver or gold.

These earrings apparently had some religious significance, as they were singled out for being elements of idol worship.  Jewelry in and of itself is not a violation of Commandment # 2, unless it is made to be symbolic of items of worship. 1. A magical figure cut or engraved under certain superstitious observances of the configuration of the heavens, to which wonderful effects are ascribed; or it is the seal, figure, character or image of a heavenly sign, constellation or planet, engraven on a sympathetic stone, or on a metal corresponding to the star, in order to receive its influence. The talismans of the Samothracians were pieces of iron, formed into images and set in rings, etc. They were held to be preservatives against all kinds of evils.

Anything on which we set our affections; that to which we indulge an excessive and sinful attachment.

(11) Israel travels in safety as Gods terror falls on those who would oppose them

Gen 35 5-7 5And as they journeyed, a terror (God impressing on their hearts and minds to dismay and greatly frighten them about how they’ll be abolished, or annihilated for confronting Israel. Proverbs 16:7) from God fell upon the cities that were around them, so that they did not pursue the sons of Jacob.

Proverbs 16:7 “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”

Jacob is not perfect, but he got God’s grace to be at peace with Esau to even reconcile with him whom he had conflict in the past.

(12) 3 Deaths & a troublesome sin are recorded 

  • Gen 35: 88And Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse died — while traveling with Jacob’s family. Rebekah is Isaac’s wife and Jacob’s (Note: Scripture does not record Rebekah’s death.) joseph is her 1st born son.
  • Rebekah is not present, and may already be dead, when Jacob returns 21 years later, to reconcile with Esau. Though a brief note reports  that Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, dies just before Jacob reaches Bethel
  • In Gen 35: 29 we see both Jacob and Esau participate in burying
  • Some believe Rebekah simply died while Jacob was in exile in Haran, during a period in which the narrative does not deal with events back in Canaan. Others believe she survived and was reunited with Jacob. Genesis 49:30 states that her remains were (eventually) buried at the Cave of Machpelah, near Mamre, along with several other patriarchs and matriarchs. A cave traditionally identified as the Tomb of the Patriarchs still exists in the West Bank town of Hebron.
  • Gen 31: 32 32Anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsmen point out what I have that is yours, and take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.
  • In Gen 35:8 & 16 – 19 — Did Rachel refuse to release her idols dies prematurely?
  • and 19… Rachel died, giving birth to her 2nd child, Benjamin and she is buried on the way to Ephrath (aka, Bethlehem). BTW – Joseph is the first of her two children.)
  • In Gen 35:22 Reuben does what rejects him from being blessed with the rights of The First Born (See Gen 49: 3-4) … 22While Israel lived in that land, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine. And Israel heard of it.
  • Gen 35: 28-29 Isaac dies and Esau and Jacob bury him.

(13) Jacobs Drink Offering 

Gen 35: 14-15 14And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he had spoken with him, a pillar of stone. He poured out a drink offering (of wine) on it and poured oil on (over) it. 15So Jacob called the name of the place where God had spoken with him Bethel, meaning “Beth-el, the house of God”.

Let’s Digest What Scripture Says About Drink Offerings

  • Genesis 35:14 is The first recorded occurrence of a drink offering given by Jacob right after God changed his name to Israel.
  • God ordained drink offerings be part of burnt and grain offerings including the morning and evening sacrifices of Exodus 29:40. 1/4 hin, about one quart, of wine was poured out into the altar fire for each lamb sacrificed (Numbers 15:4-5). A ram sacrifice required 1/3 of a hin (Numbers 15:6), and a bull required 1/2 (Numbers 15:10).
  • Pouring oil & wine on an animal and grain offering, made a smokey “soothing aroma to the LORD” (providing food for God is a significant requirement in Middle East culture.
  • Pouring out of a drink offering symbolizes the blood Jesus spilled on the cross. In Luke 22:20 Christ instituted the New Covenant. He picked up a cup of wine and said, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.” Mat 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.  Pouring oil symbolizes The Anointing of The Holy Spirit.
  • Jesus’ sacrifice fulfilled the need of a drink offering, His blood literally pouring out when the soldier pierced His side with a spear,, as recorded in John 19:33.
  • So we understand pouring out of a drink offering under the Original Covenant symbolizes the blood Jesus spilled on the cross. In Luke 22:20 when Christ explained the New Covenant, He picked up a cup of wine and said, “This cup (meaning the blood of His body) which is symbolized by this cup is poured out for us as the atoning sacrifice necessary to initiate the New Covenant ratified by the sacrifice of His sinless life through the outpouring of His blood.”
  • Oil is used to designate the one being anointed – or in the case of Christ, He is the Anointed One.
  • Pouring oil symbolizes The Anointing of The Holy Spirit.

(14) God extends the Abrahamic, Isaac covenant to Jacob – Now named Israel

12The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you.”

  • 9blessed him (congratulated him in grace – not based on the merit of the receiver.)
  • 10changed his name to israel (one whom strives with God Who conforms him to be a prince who prevails with His blesser.)
  • 11And God said to him, “I am God almighty: (El Shaddai) be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body.
  • 12The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you.

(15) Let’s Pray that God Works In Us To Make Us More Dedicated Disciples Who Bury Our Idols Before You At Our Personal Bethels – where we remember the places where You graciously have met with us, and blessed us!

Let’s Pray:   God, please work in us to make us people who forsake all our idols, so we can arrive at our Bethels to worship you purely! Work in us so we exemplify The Greatest Commandment and “…love You, the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind.

Work in us also so we love our neighbors as ourselves — with the love You fulfill in us. 

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