Going back to Bethel – Part I
Text: Genesis 28:1-22; Genesis 35:1-12
Key Verse: Genesis 35:1, “And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.” (KJV)’
The essence of going back to Bethel is to return to that place where you first met God. Jacob encountered God at Bethel, while running away from the face of his brother, Esau (Genesis 28:10-19). Having made peace with his brother, Jacob returned to his homeland and dwelt at the city of Shechem in Canaan, but God instructed him to leave there and go back to Bethel where Jacob had a special encounter with God the first time. Today, some believers have drifted further away from God. God wants us to get back at the foot of God’s ladder of fellowship again, covenant ourselves to Him and dedicate our lives to His service.
Some believers in Christ have backslidden from the faith and God is calling us to go back to Bethel. Jacob had left Bethel 30 years, when God called him to return to Bethel. You need to arise and go back to Bethel and dwell there. Go back to the house of God and let it be your address and your abode. Stay in God’s presence, rebuild your relationship with Him and dwell there. The psalmist said in Psalm 27:4, “One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in His temple.”
Why go back to Bethel? God wants to take us back to days long gone by. It may be 30 years ago, 20 years ago, 15 years ago or 5 years ago. It seems the Heavenly vision some of us saw when we first gave our lives to Christ have faded away, and God is calling us back to that same place we first had encounter with Him. Things have gone wrong and we better return and set them right. God lost appetite for the multitude of sacrifice being offered to Him by the people of Israel because of their evil doings. God called them to put away their wicked ways before Him and wash themselves clean (Isaiah 27: 11-16). We should go backwards to gather ourselves together again and then move forward. The way we are going will not help us. There are so many negative, unbiblical and unscriptural things going on in our lives and in some of the churches today. We have lost the way of the fathers of faith and many things have gone wrong, except it be not in the eyes of someone who does not want to tell himself the truth.
Any man of God who is truly called of God remembers when he was called and what he was called for. He gave himself for it; he went to Bible school to be prepared; he prayed that God would use him as a vessel to save souls from the clutches of sin. But as some began to go and move from one level of ministry to another, they forgot why they were called. Some forgot who they were, while some forgot what God called them to do and some began to pursue other things. Today, the desire to preach the gospel, win souls for God and stand tall for Him anywhere has started to dwindle, and God is saying that we should go back to Bethel.
Today’s Nugget: Bethel is a place of encounter with God
Prayer: Lord, help me to return to Bethel.
Prayer lines: 08054477940.
Rev. Pastor Ejikeme Ejim, General Superintendent, Assemblies of God Nigeria
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