You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Jacob left the house of Laban. He reckoned with the Messianic Angel as well as with his estranged brother (yes, meeting Messiah should generally provide us with the humbler attitude necessary to improve our relationships with our family, friends, and neighbors). The events at Sheshem left a bitter taste in the patriarch's mouth (Genesis 34), but now Hashem calls unto Jacob (Genesis 35:1). The God of Heaven initiates a rendez-vous with the patriarch at Beth-El, the very same place Jacob laid his head on a stone and received the vision of the ladder (Genesis 28).
See now the heart of an unassuming man, of a man who knows how to humble himself before his God. Like Abraham before him and like Moses after him, Jacob does not assume that the Creator of the universe calls unto him because of any sense of personal virtue. Jacob fears his God and in view of this awesome event decides to go on a spiritual house-cleaning. ”Oh no!” he says. “The Father wants to see us; He summoned us to His Presence. We must prepare; we must get ready; come on everybody; let’s get the house cleaned up, let’s wash up and put clean clothes on”. It’s a little bit like before you go on a date! We will see later that the way Jacob prepared for this very important encounter with the ‘Greatest V.I.P’ of all times, was the same way the Children of Israel’s prepared by Mt Horeb, and also corresponds to the way a priest would later sanctify himself before entering the Holy of the Temple.
Preparing for the special encounter Jacob also said, "Put away the foreign gods that are among you (Genesis: 35:2)”. We must not assume here that Jacob and his tribe had fallen into idolatry. Jacob’s whole family came from the household of idolatrous Laban, and whereas Jacob certainly did not consciously permit the worship of idols, as we saw in the case of Rachel (Genesis 31), people always carry extra ‘baggage’ with them.
So it is with us. The Messiah calls us. We are on a spiritual journey to Beth-El (the House of God). One day we will meet Him there on Mt Moriah when he reigns over the whole world. In the mean time, we are meant to prepare for this awesome rendez-vous. We are meant to purify and sanctify ourselves in the waters of the word; to clothe ourselves with humility and put away the foreign gods from among us. We live in an idolatrous world where instead of worshipping God, celebrate His feast days and live in His ways, people create unto themselves religions which fit more into their personal perverted sense of right and wrong. Whether we like to admit it or not, like Rachel and the people in Jacob’s tribe, we all carry a little bit of that baggage with us.
In our walk towards the Messianic Age, let us all like Jacob learn to always keep with us the wounding blessing from the concealed Messiah; reconcile with former enemies; clean and purify ourselves with the waters of the Word; and clothe ourselves with the humility of His righteousness. As we ready ourselves to physically meet with Messiah at the end of the age, let us also not forget to ‘put away the idols’, the worldliness, the vanity, the pride and the selfishness of the god of this world ‘from among us’.