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Renewing Commitment    Gen. 34:30-31; 35:1-7, 9-12, 14-15    March 30, 2008

In most of the churches I know about the young people will be more apt to renew their commitment to the Lord than adults. Why? Are Young people more sensitive about their sin, or more ready to admit their need?   I have seen adults renew their commitment to the Lord, and it be a very meaningful experience in the life of the church. Perhaps many adults need to practice Renewing Commitment to the Lord.

1. Renewing Commitment Through . . Proper Action. 34:30-31

A. Proper Action Related To , , Foreigners. 34:30
30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, "You have brought trouble on me, making me odious to the
inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites. We are few in number; if they unite against
me and attack me, I and my household will be destroyed."

B. Proper Action Related To , , Family. 34:31
31 But they answered, "Should he have treated our sister like a prostitute?"

    Every Child of God needs to live in an attitude of renewed commitment at all times. The need for
renewal need not ever be something the believer turns away from. Jacob acted differently toward those who violated one of his daughters than his sons did. It seems Jacob feared the foreigners more than he trusted God. His sons wanted revenge for their family and sister, regardless of the consequences. Both attitudes indicate a need for renewal.

2. Renewing Commitment Through . . Purifying Worship. 35:1-7

A. Purifying Worship . . Commanded By God. 35:1
1 God said to Jacob, "Get up! Go to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau."

B. Purifying Worship . . Commended By Jacob. 35:2-3
2 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. 3 We must get up and go to Bethel. I will build an altar there to the God who answered me in my day of distress. He has been with me everywhere I have gone."

C. Purifying Worship . . Commenced By Jacob. 35:4
4 Then they gave Jacob all their foreign gods and their earrings, and Jacob hid them under the oak near Shechem.

D. Purifying Worship . . Covered By God. 35:5
5 When they set out, a terror from God came over the cities around them, and they did not pursue Jacob's sons.

E. Purifying Worship . . Consummated By Jacob. 35:6-7
6 So Jacob and all who were with him came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan.
7 Jacob built an altar there and called the place God of Bethel because it was there that God had
revealed Himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.

        Jacob received a command from the Lord to return to Bethel and renew his worship through the prescribed sacrifice. Jacob then passed the command to family and others. He made a call for the trashing of all the foreign gods. The call for an individual time of purification also came forth from Jacob. God gave a protective cover as He confounded the foreigners with terror and Jacob and his family did not have to do a thing. The actual sacrifice took place on the altar God commanded him to build. Is there a special place in your Christian experience where you go to be reminded of God's call or special blessing on your life?

3. Renewing Commitment Through The . . Promises Of God. 35:9-12

A. Promise Of God To . . Change Jacob. 35:9-10
9 God appeared to Jacob again after he returned from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him.
10 God said to him: Your name is Jacob; you will no longer be named Jacob, but Israel will be your
name. So He named him Israel.

B. Promise Of God To . . Commemorate Jacob. 35:11-12
11 God also said to him: I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply. A nation, indeed an assembly of nations, will come from you, and kings will descend from you. 12 The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you. And I will give the land to your descendants after you.

        Jacob received the promise of God to change his name and He changed Jacob's name to Israel. Then God promised to bless Jacob through the commemoration of his name with the same blessings He promised Abraham and Isaac. All of these blessings came after Jacob's obedience in renewing His commitment to the Lord. Perhaps some blessing from the Lord waits for a renewed dedication on our part.

4. Renewing Commitment Through The . . Portrayals Of God's Blessings. 35:14-15

A. Portrayal Through Stone . . Markers. 35:14
14 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.

B. Portrayal Through City . . Memorials. 35:15
15 Jacob named the place where God had spoken with him Bethel. HCSB

        Jacob wanted to commemorate his renewal to the Lord and the promises God gave. He anointed the stone marker with a drink offering of oil. This made the place sacred to the people of Israel. In 1981 my wife and I visited the memorial at Pearl Harbor, and it meant much to us. As I looked around people of other nations did not seem to share our experience. They did not share the sorrow or appreciation for the brave military personnel who lost their lives there. I am very glad this memorial is there. Jacob also commemorated the name Bethel and it remains to godly people today as a place for the reminding us of Jacob Renewing Commitment to the Lord.