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 on the towns all around them so that no one pursued them. Genesis 35:1-5
If you’re not careful you could easily miss a significant belief of the people in Jacob’s household: get rid of the foreign gods you have with you.
How did that happen? How did those gods creep into their belief system? How could they be building an altar one week and ridding themselves of foreign idols the next? The fact that Jacob made a pronouncement meant that there were a significant number of gods with them. In other words, they weren’t the exception.
Well, I partially hold Jacob responsible for it. With good teaching and right living, there would be no need for his people to go after other gods. Any leaning towards foreign gods should have been the exception and not the norm.
Many of you reading this understand this completely. You’ve played by the rules, had a godly household and brought your children up in the ways of the Lord, yet still they go after other things instead of the one true God. How can this be?
I am thinking right now of two families in my past who had Godly parents, yet one child in each of their families went seriously astray. How could this be? God gave each of us the ability to make choices and must live with the consequences. Those kids in those two families made some seriously bad choices. To put it into prospective, six others in those two families are on the straight and narrow so they did many many things right.
You have stayed up into the wee hours of the morning praying for this child.
You wonder where you went wrong, what you could have done better.
Hang in there. You may be the only person in the world praying, and he/she needs it.
Don’t give up.
Those kids are worth it, but I don’t need to tell you that.
The evil one would have you believe that continuing to pray is useless because they are too far gone. Well, fortunately, you know the truth. You know how far had to go to reach you, so no one is too far gone.