It’s been a busy couple of weeks and my usual preparedness has gone out of the window. Also, I’m currently working through a mondo stack of books, but none are ready for review, so there’s a slew of things coming. Until them, I offer you the following from my reading in Genesis 35 this morning. Jacob is really connecting with me this time through:
So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments. (Genesis 35:2, ESV)
“I love this trajectory of Jacob’s story. Perhaps it is the hope for those who spend so long stubbornly in their ways only to find real transforming redemption in God, perhaps I see my own story reflected in Jacob. I love when the Word reads me, painful as it may be to see the truth. To see that I was a fornicating, lying, self-absorbed, hedonistic drunkard of a man; to see that the Lord took his time to gently nurse and heal a wild beast of a man; to see the marks of his grace and to really comprehend the reality of being born again.
Put away the foreign gods – repent! Give up those idols, those touchstones of deceit. They are not god, only a hollow cast of him with no substance, no power and no authority.
Purify yourselves – and how do we do that but in faith? Believe in Jesus, submit to him and, having been saved, be transformed by the life of the Spirit. Our sins are paid for by Christ – he doesn’t just take the consequences for our sin, but has been punished by the Father for our sins. Jesus became sin for me, for us, to redeem a purified people for himself.
Change your garments – having been rescued from the muck, and washed by the blood, don’t put the old ways back on again. To take a shower and return to the muddy workday clothes is ridiculous. How much more so to return to base living, unregenerate thinking and sinful depravity? We are clean, and so we put on clean clothes. White robes, washed white as snow by the horror of the cross.
I have been transformed, from death to life, from darkness to light. By your grace, God, help me to walk in righteousness, choosing the new ways you have given me and forsaking the old ways, receiving the hope in Christ and living in my new clothing and identity.”