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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Genesis 35:1-7

We are living in days when it seems that everyone is trying to get ahead in life. Several years ago, I spoke with a teenager who cheated on a test in school. He knew the material well and was a model student. However, he felt pressured to be the best in the class, so he cheated for the sole purpose of edging out a certain classmate who also competed for the top position.

This kind of thinking is all around us. Athletes take performance enhancing drugs; elementary students want to become teens; teens want to be considered adults; adults are often consumed with the quick fix or the easy money. Why? Because what we all want is to get ahead. We have been deceived into believing that life would be better if we could manipulate the circumstances and jump ahead.

Yet, the Old Testament book of Genesis teaches us that it would do many of us some good to go back, rather than forward, for a change. The life of Jacob is an interesting study. God wanted us to learn about his birth, youth, manhood, dreams, aspirations, deceptions, old age, and death. In fact, the Word of God gives us a pretty unedited photo of Jacob's life. He was a cheater, liar, deceiver, schemer, and a swindler. As the story unfolds, we see that Jacob had a unique encounter with an angel of God. He wrestled with this angel as he pleaded for a blessing. When God granted him the promise of His presence, protection, and provision, Jacob responded by committing his life to God.

Like many of us, Jacob became distracted even though he had committed to following the Lord faithfully. He tolerated sin and led his family away from God. In Genesis 35:1, God commanded him to go back to Bethel and renew his promise to serve the Lord. What a great God we serve. He loves us enough to bring us back when we go astray. Is there an area of your Christian life that was once vibrant and alive and is now dull or dead? Go “back to Bethel” and renew that right relationship you once had with the God of Jacob.

© 2022, Life Touching Life - Pastor Chris Juvinall Used by permission.


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