Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jacob Gives Thanks -- Genesis 35:7

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?

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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous23/3/10 23:38

    We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull, Some have weird names , and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.............................................