Genesis 35:1: “Then God said to Jacob, ‘Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.”
Where were you when you came to know the Lord? Some people were at home watching a worship service on TV, or at a youth camp, or in a crusade meeting. According to Ed Hinson, in his book Courageous Faith, most people are saved in a church or a church-related service. In other words, most people come to God in the house of God.
Jacob was a deceiver and a liar. He had difficulty dealing with other people and with God. After deceiving his brother Esau to gain his father Issac’s family leadership and money, Jacob fled for his life. As he was running from his angry brother, Jacob was confronted by a holy God. He saw angels coming and going from heaven. He heard the voice of the Almighty. He had a saving encounter with the God of his fathers and his life was dramatically changed. He built an altar of rocks there and called the place “Bethel”, or “house of God.”
But Jacob did not stay in “God’s house” nor did he follow God’s plans. Instead, he did what many people do today. He wandered away from God and did his own thing. He “backslid.” He “got out of church.” His life got pretty messed up. Sound familiar? Perhaps you have done the same thing. Maybe you have walked away from God and His house. Your life, like Jacob’s, has gotten messed up.
What do you do? Do what Jacob did. He got back to Bethel. The Bible records that Jacob returned to the place where he first met God. (Genesis 35) More importantly, he got back to the God of the house of God. He re-named that spot “El Bethel” ; God of the house of God. You might need to get back to God and get back in His house.
God, I need to return to You and to the place where I was saved. I am tired of wandering and doing my own thing. Help me Lord to get back to El Bethel. In the name of Jesus, Amen.