Go up to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar to God
… I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord[f] will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”
Settle in a place with other believers and demonstrate daily worship to God.
get rid of foreign gods, purify yourself, change your clothes, come, let us go (including rings in their ears)
purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and soul; put off old self, put on new; walk in light not darkness, confess our sins; love God and carry out his commands
Things we find of high monetary worth but that do not bring glory to God. Things that may lead others away from God. Things that take our time and attention away from God
My Daily Journal:
My family and I have made a number of trips recently to a couple of the nearby Amish communities. My wife has taken up quilting and enjoys the materials, supplies and ladies she has met in the communities. The Amish bulk stores are also amazing places for a gluten-free household.
On a recent trip we checked out a book on CD from the library called House Calls and Hitching Posts: Stories from Dr. Elton Lehman’s Career Among the Amish. In the book, the author relates a story about what makes the Amish people unique:
Some years ago a group of 52 people chartered a bus and came to Holmes County to see the Amish. They had arranged to have an Amishman meet them and answer some of their questions. The first question was, “What does it mean to be Amish?” The Amishman thought a bit and then he asked a question of his own. “How many of you have TV in your homes” Fifty-two hands went up. “How many of you feel there are things on the TV that are inappropriate or un-Godly?”, again almost all of the hands went up. “How many of you believe that time spent watching TV is normally not time spent honoring God?”, every hand. “Now, how many of you feel that perhaps you would be better stewards of the faith if you spent less time watching TV in your homes or didn’t watch it at all?” Again, fifty-two hands went up. “All right. Now, how many of you are going to go home and get rid of your TV?” Not one hand went up! Now that is what it means to be Amish. As a church, if we see or experience something that is not good for us spiritually, we will discipline ourselves to do without.
I am not advocating we all convert to become Amish, but there is a strong lesson in living a life that has the discipline to separate ourselves from the things that do not bring honor to God. We see this same example in those who take a vow of poverty for faith, who give up comfort and convenience to become missionaries in a foreign land and those who commit their lives to be the hands of God to the sick and needy. We also see it in the daily lives of people in our faith community who live as aliens in a foreign land, focusing on the eternal. These people stand out because they stand up for doing right for God. Which community do we want to fit in to? A community of Shechem or a community of the angels and saints?