Dear Hope family,

Thought for the Week

Passing on the Baton

Genesis 35v2-3 “So Jacob said to his household … come let us go up to the ‘House of God’.’” (NIV)

In our survey of the main characters of Genesis, we find that Abraham leads Isaac into a relationship with God based on God’s promises, then Isaac leads Jacob, and Jacob in this verse leads his family.

Each of us carries a responsibility to lead, as best we can, the next generation into the presence of God. For Jacob, he takes them to “Bethel” which means “House of God”: it is where he had met God previously. In the context of the above verse (35v1-12), you will notice the following:

  1. Jacob obeys God’s call to Bethel.
  2. Jacob exercises his authority and tells his household to get rid of idolatry and be pure.
  3. Jacob builds an altar to worship God (and presumably offers sacrifices in the presence of his family).
  4. God appears to Jacob (and presumably the others in his household saw this).
  5. Jacob sets up a reminder for the family going forward of this encounter.


Joseph, who we will be looking at this Sunday, was probably aged about 7 or 8 at this point. I wonder to what degree this encounter influenced his attitudes in later life.

There is a limit to what each of us can do, depending on our circumstances, and we are each answerable to God. But let us endeavor to embrace the next generation in the things of God.

With love and blessing,