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Getting Back on Track

Words of Faith Final

Getting Back on Track
Words of Faith 6-22-2022
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2022
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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Genesis 35
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 upon 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 below Bethel. So it was named Allon Bacuth.
[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 come from your body. [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.

Sometimes it is important to stop and ask, "Where did we get off track?" This was such a time. There had been a family disaster with the rape of Dinah, followed by the horrific vengeance wrought by two brothers upon the attacker and his family. Surely Jacob was asking himself, "Where did I go wrong?"
The answer was that Jacob had forgotten his vow to return to Beersheba, the land of his parents' home, and be committed to God. Instead, Jacob had stopped and "pitched his tent toward Shechem." Jacob had yet to realize that his own failed leadership had contributed mightily to the family disaster that happened there.
The Lord reminded Jacob of his original commitment. He beckoned him to return to the place where he had first encountered God. This was a call to the vow he had first made to God, that he would come back and make the Lord to be his God in the land. He also had pledged that he would make Bethel God's house and that he would tithe upon all the wealth he had attained.
But there was more to this recommitment than just returning to the right place. Jacob, in an act of decisive spiritual leadership, called for a cleansing process. He called the family to remove all their idols, foreign gods, and even the earrings associated with false gods. They washed themselves and changed their clothes. They left behind and buried any "inclination" toward Shechem and moved on to build an altar at Bethel.
Here, in this place of consecration, the Lord spoke to Jacob and confirmed his name change and the destiny before him. A great nation and even a community of nations would come forth from Jacob, the father of Israel.
In modern terms, we might call this "revival." It was a time of self-examination, a time of correction, a time of repentance, a time of cleansing, a time of recommitment, and a time of renewal. God reminded Jacob of the original experience of God that had empowered his journey. It is much like the call of God in the book of Revelation: "You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first" (2:4-5).
Here is a question. Have you pitched your tent toward something other than God? Have you inclined your household toward the world rather than toward the dwelling of God? Did you start out on a journey home but get sidetracked along the way? Has there been calamity in your life?
Perhaps you have forsaken your first love, and it is time to come home to God. Maybe it is time to remember the things you did at first. God calls us to leave behind the idols of this world, be cleansed by His grace, and walk in new clothes-- the garments of His righteousness!
How do we get our lives turned around? How do we get back on course with God? We must seek the Lord in prayer to discover the things He would have us change. We must repent, turn away from sin and turn toward God. He calls us to cast aside the idols and foreign gods we may have accumulated and bury them as He cleanses and sanctifies us.

Father, I want nothing but to be inclined toward You. Reveal in my life the ways that I have failed to walk with You and lead for You. Draw me back to my first love! Draw me back to the things I did at first. Empower me to leave behind and bury forever the idols I have accumulated. Cleanse me and clothe me with Your righteousness. In Jesus' name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2022
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2022 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.