01/12/16 He Had Spoken to Him

READING: Genesis 35-37

Here it is again: the silliness of following false gods. God told Jacob to go to Bethel, and Jacob told all who were with him to cast aside the foreign gods they had with them: "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’” (Gen. 35:2). 

They did exactly what Jacob requested: “Then they gave Jacob all their foreign gods and their earrings, and Jacob hid them under the oak near Shechem” (Gen. 35:4). 

Like we asked in a devotion a few days ago, just what kinds of gods were these? People could get rid of them. They could give them to others. They could hide them. The idols were often nothing more than man-made relics, and yet the very men who made them also worshiped them. That’s how much the enemy deceives us sometimes: we worship what man makes. Whether it’s dollars, stuff, fame, or power, we follow the false at the enemy’s leading.  

And yet, read these other texts from the same chapter of Genesis, noticing the phrases I’ve emphasized in bold print: “Then God withdrew from him at the place where He had spoken to him. Jacob set up a marker at the place where He had spoken to him—a stone marker. He poured a drink offering on it and anointed it with oil. Jacob named the place where God had spoken with him Bethel” (Gen. 35:13-15). 

You see the differences, don’t you? Some of the Hebrews were following false gods who couldn’t speak, while the true God of the Bible intentionally spoke to His chosen leader, Jacob. Indeed, the writer of Genesis wants to make sure we don’t miss that truth, so he notes the miracle three times in these few verses. The tragedy is that we, too, still sometimes hold on to false gods who can’t even speak to us. 

The good news is that our one and only true God chooses to communicate to us through His Word, His Spirit, and His people. 

Our God speaks to us. 

That’s incredible. 

ACTION STEPS: Consider these steps today:

  • Meditate on times when God has spoken to you through His Word, His Spirit, or His people. 
  • Be sure to read His Word today. Put yourself in a position for Him to speak to you. 
  • While you may not make an altar like Jacob did, spend time worshiping God today.   

PRAYER: “Lord, forgive me when I listen to the enemy and worship false gods that cannot even speak. Open my ears to hear clearly when You call me back to You.”  

TOMORROW’S READING:  Genesis 38-40






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