The House of God

Today’s Passage – Genesis 27 – 28 

“And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.” – (Genesis 28:18-22 )

In our passage today, in chapter 27, we read about the messy family problems that took place in the home of Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, and Esau. Jacob is force to flee from his home in order to escape the wrath of his brother Esau; but something wonderful happens to Jacob when he gets away from home: he meets God for himself. Chapter 28 records the wonderful experience that Jacob had in a place that he called Bethel, which means “the house of God”. At Bethel, God would introduce Himself personally to Jacob: no longer would God be the God of Abraham or Isaac; now God was Jacob’s God as well. During their visit together, God reaffirmed the covenant that He had previously made with Jacob’s father and grandfather; and Jacob also commits himself to worship and serve the Lord.

Every Christian has that special place in their life where they first met with God. For me, believe it or not, it was in my 1986 Isuzu box-body truck. It was there in that truck while travelling across New Jersey, listening to Christian radio, that God first revealed Himself to me. That truck was my Bethel: it was the place that I first met with God. There have also been other Bethel’s in my life: places where God spoke to my heart in a special way. I have a place that is my Bethel today: a place where I daily meet with the Lord. Bethel is a wonderful place; not because of any natural attribute it may have, but simply because it is the place where God meets with us.

Do you have a Bethel? Is there a place that you can remember: a place where God first revealed Himself to you? Is there a place where God regularly meets with you today? Those are your Bethels, and they are wonderful places to be.


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