Family Reformation; or, Jacob's Second Visit to Bethel
Charles H. Spurgeon
There are critical times in most families, times when much decision of character will be needed on the part of the father to guide things aright. They say there is a skeleton in every house, and, if so, I would add that occasionally the unquiet spirit takes to troubling the household, and needs to be quieted. There are times when the evil in the hearts of the children and in the nature of the parents becomes specially energetic, and brings about difficulties and perplexities, so that if a wrong turn were taken, the most fearful mischief would ensue; and yet, if there be grace in the hearts of some or all of the family, a strong and gracious hand at the helm of the ship may steer it right gallantly through the broken water, and bring it safely out of its dangers to pursue its journey much more happily in the future. Now, such a crisis had come to Jacob's family: things had reached a sad pass, and something must be done; everything seemed out of gear, and matters could not continue any longer as they were. All was out of order, and threatened to become much worse. Even the heathen outside began to smell the ill savor of Jacob's disorganized family, and the one alternative was-mend or end.
A stand must be taken by the head of the house. There must be a reform in the household, and a revival of religion throughout the whole family. If you notice, Jacob himself was in a bad way. His business was to remain in Canaan a mere sojourner, dwelling in tents, not one of the people, but moving about among them, testifying that he looked for "a city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." He expected to inherit the land, but, for the time being, he was to be a stranger and a sojourner, as his fathers Abraham and Isaac had been.
Yet at Succoth, we read that he built booths-scarcely houses, I suppose, but more than tents. It was a compromise, and a compromise is often ...
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