And he built an altar there, and called the place El-bethel, because there God had revealed Himself to him, when he fled from his brother.
You will remember in Genesis 35:1 when God told Jacob to go to Bethel, He also told him to make an altar there to Him. Jacob, now safely in Bethel with his household, follows through on this additional request from God. He builds an altar to the Lord and he calls the place where he built the altar, El-bethel. The actual word can be translated as the ‘God of Bethel’ or when one also translates the word Bethel itself, El-bethel literally means ‘the God of the House of God’.
What is the implication for us today, especially when so many of us may feel we have reason to be dissatisfied with the church? In our text we read that Jacob names this place after ‘the God of the House of God’ because that is where God revealed Himself to Jacob in the time of his greatest need. While God’s omnipotence and His omnipresence allows Him to reveal Himself to anyone, anytime, and anywhere, Jacob somehow captured the desire of God in wanting to be best revealed to us in ‘His own house’ or Bethel.
We need to grasp that same understanding. God may reveal Himself to us anywhere, but like those created in His image that rule as men, He rejoices in inviting us to His House/Castle in order to reach out to us and reveal His plans for us. Do we want the full blessing of God on our lives? If so, I believe we cannot have them while we remain in a state of broken fellowship with our church, our local House of God.
If you are in such a circumstance, please seek what God (not you) would want you to do with respect to this matter. Is it time for you to built an altar to God in your El-Bethel?
Join others following Ken on Twitter
Check-out AccordConsulting, SCA International, and Human Resources for the Church.
Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.
Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.
Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.
Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.