Idols, murder and maybe had overtaken Israel and his tribe. So God said it was time for a reset. He sent them back to Bethel. Back where it all began.
For their part, the Israel family repented, cleaned up and took everything that stood between them and God and buried it. In exchange God safely delivered them to their home. They were not bothered by any of the folks that would destroy them simply because God interceded.
As we travel with God on our journey, we often allow things in the world to come between us and the lord. When we do it can become equally chaotic. But, if like Israel, we reset and put away the things that stand between us, we can reset and regain the peace and protection his freedom affords. God wants us to enjoy an untangled life–but it has to be our choice. So reset and return to your first love.
Then God said to Jacob, “Get ready and move to Bethel and settle there. Build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother, Esau.”
So Jacob told everyone in his household, “Get rid of all your pagan idols, purify yourselves, and put on clean clothing.
We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has been with me wherever I have gone.”
So they gave Jacob all their pagan idols and earrings, and he buried them under the great tree near Shechem.
As they set out, a terror from God spread over the people in all the towns of that area, so no one attacked Jacob’s family.