Genesis 35:1-36:8; Matthew 12:1-8; Psalms 16:1-4; Proverbs 6:27-35
OT: “God said to Jacob, “Get up! Go to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.” So Jacob said to his family and all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods that are among you. Purify yourselves and change your clothes. We must get up and go to Bethel. I will build an altar there to the God who answered me in my day of distress. He has been with me everywhere I have gone.” …God appeared to Jacob again after he returned from Paddan-aram, and he blessed him. God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; you will no longer be named Jacob, but your name will be Israel.” So he named him Israel. God also said to him, “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply. A nation, indeed an assembly of nations, will come from you, and kings will descend from you. I will give to you the land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac. And I will give the land to your future descendants.”” (Genesis 35:1-3, 9-12 CSB)
The wonderful truth about people with strong wills: once they set their will to righteousness, their will is set and they are all-in. Once Jacob made the decision and set his will to come under God’s authority, he was all-in. From that point on, there would be no other gods or idols allowed. He was making a new start, and from that point on, he and his family were God’s and God’s alone. It was at that point, when Jacob aligned his will with the Lord’s will, that God gave Jacob the inheritance that He had for him. Jacob’s life may have started off rocky and full of self reliance and connivery, he ended His life fully submitted to God. Isn’t redemption wonderful? It doesn’t matter how you start or where you start from. What matters is that along the way, you submit to the Lord’s destiny for your life and end up finishing well. So many people do the opposite – they start well, but finish in pride and self-reliance. Couple of questions to ask: 1) are there any idols or gods that I keep near by just in case this walk with the Lord doesn’t pan our, or am I all in – fully trusting God? 2) Am I committed to finishing well, and not allowing my life to be tainted by or identified by my past self-reliance?
Psalms: “Protect me, God, for I take refuge in you. I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have nothing good besides you.” …The sorrows of those who take another god for themselves will multiply; I will not pour out their drink offerings of blood, and I will not speak their names with my lips.” (Psalms 16:1-2, 4 CSB)
This is a psalm of King David. Although he had moments in his life where he allowed his heart to go after unrighteousness, his life was marked as someone fully committed to following the Lord and finishing well. Though his kingdom was surrounded by nations that pledged their allegiance to other gods, he would take no part in that. He and his kingdom would follow, serve, and worship the One True God and Him alone – and because of that, he was protected and blessed… and his kingdom was protected and blessed.