Part 13 of the Present day Patriarchs series.
Genesis 33:18 – And Jacob came to Shalem, a city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, when he came from Padanaram; and pitched his tent before the city.
Genesis 33:19 – And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for an hundred pieces of money.
Genesis 33:20 – And he erected there an altar, and called it El-el-o-he-Israel.
We finally have come to the end of the Present day Patriarchs series. Jacob has accomplished quite a bit in just 1 chapter of holy writ. Now, the finishing touches are being made.
First of all, Jacob purchased a piece of the promise land. This promise land was his family’s inheritance. Before Jacob was freely given this land, he stepped out by faith and purchased a good size chunk. Jacob bought into the promises of God. It’s a powerful thing when a patriarch shows his family he has bought into what God promised He would do. A father buys into the promises of God when he invests faith and finances into his family. Buying into the promises of God includes reaching your neighbors with the gospel, having neighborhood barbeques, and taking your children with you while you minister to others. If you take a leap of faith on a personal project, or send your children on that mission’s trip – you’re buying into the promises of God. Are you sold out on possessing the promises of God? Prove it.
Secondly, after Jacob built a house, he pitched a tent. Once you have built a house you would think there is no need for a tent. But this tent was a teaching tabernacle. Jacob pitched the tent before the pagan city of Shechem. With this action he was teaching his family they were still pilgrims when it came to the society they were living in. The life of a pilgrim is the life all fathers need to instill into their children. This world isn’t our home. We are missionaries in our cities. We aren’t putting faith in the foundations of our culture. We have a house, but we are tent dwellers when it comes to this world.
Thirdly, Jacob built an open altar. This altar was exposed. Jacob, the master of facade, took the huge step into honesty and openness. It’s important for our altars to be visible. Don’t hide your spiritual life from your children under the guise of humility – they need to see you worship. They learn how to pray by watching and ultimately joining in with you. Bring your altar into view of your children. Generally, kids worship just like daddy. Michal the daughter of Saul had no desire for worship, simply because she was the daughter of Saul. Saul never taught her the importance of open and authentic worship.
This altar was at Jacob’s home. Jacob also had an altar at Bethel (the house of God), but his most important altar was at home. It’s one thing to pray at church, but do you pray at home? Do you have an altar atmosphere in your house? Do you live a lifestyle of God chasing? Are you a God stalker? Every patriarch had an altar at home. In some instances they had an altar when they didn’t even have a house. Building an altar at your home is vital.
Jacob named this altar – El-el-o-he-Israel (God, the God of Israel). Jacob a chapter prior had a God encounter during which God changed his name to Israel. Israel is the man God said Jacob could become. Jacob built this altar to his future. Jacob was determined to become the man that God said he could be. Fathers should never quit growing. Let your altar be the altar of possibility. Let your children get a view of a God that does not focus on who you were, but on who you can become. Teach your children that our relationship with God isn’t about destination; it’s about the process. Never quit growing. That altar is the place God will forge and fashion you into the man He sees you as. Become what God has designed for you to become. Get altered by the altar.
Pitch a tent- Build an altar
1. Are you living out God’s mission on this earth?
2. Would there be enough evidence for a jury to convict you, concerning your faith in God’s word?
3. Are you sold out?
4. Do your children feel like you are invested in their future?
5. Do your children have a proper worldview?
6. Have you taught them right and wrong? Values that need to be valued?
7. Have you exampled the pilgrim life to them?
8. Do they recognize we are living for another world?
9. Do you live to lay treasures up in heaven? Do your children understand this concept?
10. How often do your children see you pray and worship?
11. Do you have an altar at home?
12. Have you named this altar? What view of God do you pray with?
13. Are you in the continual process of becoming who God said you could become?
14. Have you taught your children that God is the God of their potential?