Wednesday Reflection – October 09, 2019
Go Back to Bethel Prelude:Today marks two years since God led me to start Monday Reflection. I continue to marvel as I reflect on God’s action among us and the development of this ministry. We now have Reflections for each day, except Sundays. I wish to record thanks to Sister Shaneka Raymore-Euphfa, and Brothers Bevon White, Christopher Euphfa and Dominic Blair. Your commitment to this ministry is highly appreciated. I know it takes much sacrifice, but God has been faithful in inspiring and enabling us to persevere week after week. Ebenezer! Hitherto hath the Lord helped us!
Reflection: Jacob said, “Come, let us go up to Bethel, that I may make an altar there to the God who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” Genesis 35:3
Go back to Bethel!
This was God’s instruction to Jacob. God told 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.” Jacob had gone to Shechem instead of Bethel, where he was supposed to be. Now at last Jacob decides to obey God. Jacob had to leave Shechem and go to Bethel. There had to be a departure from one and a new direction and destination set. There was a new place for Jacob and his family to dwell.
The first thing he was required to do when he got to Bethel was to make an altar to God. He is to resume a life of worship there. As Jacob looked back on his walk with God, the first meeting with God at Bethel must have been a high point. Genesis 28:10-22 describes the awesome experience that he had where he fell asleep and had a dream of a ladder that went up into heaven and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. God announced to him that he is giving him and his descendants the land on which he laid. God also promised his abiding presence. Interestingly, because of that experience, Jacob set up a stone and called the place Bethel. It is to this very place that God now summons Jacob to return.
It seems that Jacob refused to think that the best years of his life with God were behind him. He returned to this memorable place and God blessed it. Spurgeon says that a revival of old memories is often most useful to us, especially to revive the memory of our conversion and of our love for God. Jacob called his family to reject the foreign gods and purify themselves as they head back to Bethel. There he will worship God, the same God who answered him in his day of distress and has been with him all the way. Bethel then was to be a place of remembrance and thanksgiving for all that God has been and done. Where is our Bethel? The life transforming place that God is calling us back to? The place that requires rejection of the things of the world and reconnection with God? The place where we recall God’s faithfulness to us? The place of thanksgiving? God calls us back there.
Paul reminds us today in Ephesians 5:20, “Give thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”