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Page Sixty-Five





Jacob

The Forgotten Vow

"If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my fathers house, then the Lord will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God's house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth." -- (Genesis 28:20-22)

(Bible Study Online Article Covers : Genesis 35:1-7)



Short Recap

In the last article we'd learned, that Jacob's sons had put all the male Shechemites to the sword and looted the city for all it had to offer. For Jacob's sons had taken the Shechemites: flocks, herds, donkeys and everything else that had belonged to them.

And they wouldn't stop there, for the Sacred Record reveals, that they also carried off all their women and children.

Nonetheless, after all this happened, Jacob had became fearful of a possible retaliation from the Shechemites neighbors (and possible allies) the Canaanites and the Perizzites:

"[My sons] you have brought trouble on me by making me a stench to the Canaanites and the Perizzites (dwellers or villagers in the fields), the people living in this land. We are few in number and if they joined forces against me and attack me, I and my household would be destroyed." -- Genesis 34:30



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God Again -- Visits Jacob?


Now it's not clear if Jacob had resigned himself to prayer, after he'd learned of the fatal event that had happened with the Shechemites? But like the passage above had pointed out, Jacob was afraid, and deeply concerned about the overall safety of his household. Now if we were to go by his past tendencies, when it came to him facing uncertain daunting challenges from within his life, it would be very well possible, that he did resign himself over to prayer.

Now the reason why I'm pressing this issue, when it comes, to if Jacob had prayed at this particular moment in his life? Deals with the fact that the Sacred Record informs us, that the Lord ended up paying Jacob another visit. For I personally believe, that's it's always good to see, what type of action in the natural, had actually gotten God's attention.

For we must always remember, that the Most High never changes, and if Jacob can get His attention, then so can we. Nonetheless, here's what God had to say: "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." -- Genesis 35:1



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The Forgotten Vow?


Now pay close attention to what God just did? For He reminded Jacob of the vow that he had made to Him, back when he was running away from his brother Esau. Remember what Jacob had to say at that time:

"If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my fathers house, then the Lord will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God's house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth." -- (Genesis 28:20-22)

Now it would seem, that Jacob had forgotten the vow that he had made to the Almighty God at this particular moment in his life. And if this was indeed, the case? I often wonder if God had allowed Jacob's daughter Dinah to be defiled by Shechem, simply because Jacob had settled and made his new home in the wrong place? Now I know that most would scoff at that last statement -- but could you honestly say, that you could rule the idea of God, in some way punishing Jacob -- out completely?



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Something to Consider?


Now consider the fact, that during that same night, right before Jacob had made his vow to the Lord -- God had just confirmed his divine covenant with Jacob. Also notice, how He'd promised to do it all on the land, that Jacob was resting on at the time (which was still Canaan):

"I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." -- (Genesis 28:13-15)

Now, I believe that this should be a reminder to us all -- that at times, God will allow "distress seasons" to come upon us, in order to get us back on the right path. Know that God wants nothing but the best for us, and sometimes He has to get our undivided attention by shaking us up a bit, in order to do it.



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We Must Purify Ourselves?


However that may have been -- Jacob would go to his household, and it's at this time Jacob would tell everyone, to get rid of their engrave: household gods, idols, and foreign deities that they might have had in their possession at the time. And after doing this, Jacob also instructed his family to purify themselves, and that they also needed to change their clothing. Now Jacob had told them to do this, because they were now going to Bethel (for the name means: the House of God), and once they arrived, they will build an altar unto the Most High.

So Jacob would bury their engraved: household gods, idols, and foreign deities and the rings that they had in their ears -- and he buried them under the oak tree that was located near Shechem. Now after doing this, Jacob and his household would begin their journey to the land of Bethel.



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God Stayed With Jacob?


Keep in mind, that God would be with Jacob, and because of this, know that the terror of the Almighty had fallen upon all the towns (civilizations & tribes) that were around them. So therefore no one would pursue, or try to bring harm to Jacob and his family, in regards to the fatal events that had taken place with the Shechemites:

"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. Then they set out, and the terror of God fell upon the towns all around them so that no-one pursued them." -- Genesis 35:4,5

And because of this divine protection, Jacob and his family would arrive at Bethel in peace and without harm. And Jacob would build the altar that he was instructed to build, and he would also make a sacrifice unto the Almighty God. Understand that Jacob's sacrifice was probably the tenth of Jacob's overall wealth at the time. Nonetheless, after doing this, Jacob would call that place "El Bethel"... which signified - "the God of the House of God."


In the next Bible Study Online Article

Now that Jacob has settled in the right place, the place that the Lord had promised to him and his forefathers. Again, Jacob would encounter some bad news, which involved some people, who were apart of his upbringing, and some who were close to his heart.


May God blessings be upon you, and thank you for your support



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Jacob - The Path of Uncertainty

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Continue Reading - Bible Study Online - Current Series:


54) Jacob the Prosperous

55) Jacob departs from Laban

56) Rachel the Thief

57) Jacob's Mistake

58) Laban's Pursuit

59) The Friendship Covenant

60) The Host of Angels

61) Jacob Wrestles with God

62) The Reconciliation of Jacob & Esau

63) Dinah the Daughter of Israel

64) The Plot of Vengeance

65) <-CURRENT - BIBLE STUDY ONLINE - PAGE->

66) The Season of Passing

67) The Descendants of Esau

68) Joseph the Favorite Son



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