We will be posting a number of devotionals written by President Jul Medenblik for the Today series. This devotional originally appeared in the 2006 July – August volume for August 26.
Passage: Genesis 35:1-15
“ ‘Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves . . . .’” Genesis 35:2
Growing up on a family farm meant that after chores on Saturday, it was time for baths and getting ready for Sunday. Peeling potatoes on Saturday night was one of the ways my father helped with housework. You might have other remembrances of getting ready for worship and rest on the Lord’s day.
Jacob wanted everyone traveling with him to get ready. When Jacob left his family home, God met him at Bethel and promised to be with him. Now it was time for Jacob to return to that place. As Jacob neared the place of God’s promise, his vision grew sharper. The issue wasn’t about outward appearance but allegiance to God. Jacob saw more clearly that his household wasn’t clean. The presence of foreign gods became clearly offensive as he neared the place where he’d first met the real God.
We can meet God every day, but we also have the special opportunity to meet God with others in worship. Are you planning to attend church tomorrow, or are you waiting to see how busy your day is? Are you preparing your heart? We all accumulate gods of materialism, self-centeredness, and anything else that can get in the way of total allegiance to God.
Preparing to meet God is a matter of the heart. It’s also a matter of setting priorities. Do we ask God to purify us? It’s essential in the presence of the holy God.
Holy God, examine our hearts and create a clean heart within us by the work of your Spirit. Help us to be prepared to meet you—now, tomorrow, and for eternity. Amen.