Jacob was settled near the city of Shechem, but God had something different in mind for the patriarch. So He commanded Jacob to get up and go to Bethel and settle there. Furthermore, he was to build an altar to God where he had met with Him when he fled from his brother Esau so many years before.
So Jacob obeyed. But first, he told his family and all of the others with him that they had to do something. They had to get rid of their foreign gods and purify themselves. After doing so, they then set out for Bethel, and God moved before them (see v. 5).
Once again, we see Jacob being changed before our eyes. He understood that God was calling him to increased faithfulness, not just in going where God wanted him to go but also in casting aside other gods from his family’s midst. Just as Jacob was calling on his family to purify themselves and change their clothes, God was doing the same in his life—purifying and changing his heart.
How has God been at work purifying and changing your heart? Where do you still need Him to work?