Jacob Returns to Bethel 11am

Jul 2, 2023    Dennis Whitcher

Genesis 35:1–15 describes the fulfillment of Jacob's vows made to the Lord some thirty years earlier. Then, Jacob encountered God after fleeing from Esau. Now that Jacob has returned safely to Canaan and resolved the conflict with Esau, God commands him to build an altar at the place of their first meeting, Bethel. Jacob rids his family of all of their false idols returns to Bethel. God appears to him, confirming the covenant promises once more. Jacob responds to God's appearance and blessing by building a stone pillar and pouring a drink offering and oil over it.


This sets a pattern for us as well. Coming back to God begins by recognizing from God’s word that you maybe you are not where God wants you to be. Jacob was in Shechem; God wanted him in Bethel. Then we respond in obedience to the command of God to arise, go up, and worship Him.


What will it look like to obey the Lord? Getting rid of idols - those things that take the place of God in your life. Cleansing ourselves by confessing our sins before God. Then demonstrating that inward repentance by our outward behavior, bearing “fruit worthy of repentance.”


Do you have a Bethel in your life, a special place where you first met God? Have you ever set up stone pillars in your mind to remind you of times that God has spoken to you and it has made a change in your life, or has brought your focus back to the true treasure of your heart, the Lord Jesus Christ?