The Restored Orchard

Deeper Roots – Genesis 35:1-7

photo of an open book on a tree s roots

A humbled and open heart is fertile soil for God’s seeds of wisdom. Establishing deeper roots requires analyzing God’s word to discover truths, values, and lessons for application to our lives. Periodically, a scripture or passage calls for further exploration, like Genesis 35:1-7.

Then God said to Jacob, “Get ready and move 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 told everyone in his household, “Get rid of all your pagan idols, purify yourselves, and put on clean clothing. We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has been with me wherever I have gone.”

So they gave Jacob all their pagan idols and earrings, and he buried them under the great tree near Shechem. As they set out, a terror from God spread over the people in all the towns of that area, so no one attacked Jacob’s family.

Eventually, Jacob and his household arrived at Luz (also called Bethel) in Canaan. Jacob built an altar there and named the place El-bethel (which means “God of Bethel”), because God had appeared to him there when he was fleeing from his brother, Esau.

Genesis 35:1-7 NLT

Our Deeper Roots passage in Genesis shows that there are seasons when we have to withstand correction before we see the promise. Our scripture selection begins after some of Jacob’s sons have slaughtered people because of the defilement of their sister, Dinah. It’s after the massacre at Shechem that God speaks to Jacob with clear instructions. God tells Jacob to return to the location of the promise and build an altar. So Jacob tells his family to get rid of all of their idols and he buries them there. Then, they travel to Luz (Bethel) so that he could build an altar to God.

It’s clear that Jacob’s family was drifting away from God’s instructions. They mixed with locals, lied, and killed people. They had allowed idols into their hearts and gave physical items more importance than God. When God instructed Jacob to head back to Bethel, Jacob knew they were headed onto Holy ground and that idols had no place there. He gathered all the idols and jewelry from his family and buried them there in Shechem. Then Jacob and his family safely made the journey to Luz to complete the instructions that God had given him.

There will be seasons that we have to endure correction in order to walk into the promise of God. There are times that we make idols of things that we know that we shouldn’t. There are times that we allow feelings and our wants or desires to pull us into situations that leave us vulnerable to attack. This passage shows that correction, the releasing of idols and other distractions, is necessary. We should never shy away from correcting areas where we are living against the word of God. It may be the very thing hindering us from crossing fully into the promise of God. Don’t be afraid of correction. The Bible says that God corrects those He loves. Let it be an encouragement to withstand the correction in order to walk into the promise.

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