Going back to Bethel – Part 2
Going back to Bethel means separation from sin, and fellowship with God. “Bethel” means the House of God. It is a place of solitude and intimacy with God. God wants His people to return to the House of God and dwell there. Jacob left his homeland to Haran because his brother, Esau desired to kill him. While camped at a place later called Bethel, God revealed Himself to Jacob while asleep in a dream. He saw a stairway erected on the earth with its top reaching to the Heavens and God stood above the stairway. The angels of God were going up and coming down it.
After that special encounter with God at Bethel, Jacob made a vow to God, saying, If God will be with him, and keep him in the way that he goes, and make provisions for him, so that he returns again to his father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God (Genesis 28:20-21). Having granted Jacob his petition to Him, God reminded him about his vow in Genesis 28:20. Jacob acknowledged his vow and said to his household, “And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went” (Genesis 35:3). The Bible described us as fools when we make vows to God and fail to fulfil it (Ecclesiastes 5:4).
When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfil it. God has no pleasure in fools who make vows and delay in fulfilling it. Fulfil your vow to God. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfil it (Ecclesiastes 5:5). I wouldn’t know if you have made a vow to God five years ago, 10 years ago or 15 years ago and have not fulfilled it. Maybe you have forgotten, you don’t care and maybe you think it doesn’t matter. God does not forget the vow that was made to Him. He remembers every vow that any man has made. He wants to remind you of your vow today and wants you to pay it. The Bible says if you don’t pay your vow, God will be angry at your voice (Ecclesiastes 5:6).
Jacob remembered his vow and said to his household and all who are with him, let us arise and move to Bethel (Genesis 35:3). Jacob said to them to put away the strange gods that are among them and purify themselves (Genesis 35:2). I am not, however, surprised that Jacob addressed everybody in his house. Where is your son? Where is your daughter? Where is your wife? Where is your house-help? Are they with you? Unfortunately for some of us, our sons and daughters are no longer worshipping God with us. Some people under our roof are not worshipping God with us. Jacob said to everybody in his house, ‘stand up, we are going back to Bethel!’ Joshua said to the people of Israel to choose this day whom they will serve, but as for him and his house, they will serve the LORD (Joshua 24:15). If you don’t want to worship God, I will worship and I will worship with my whole family.
Today’s Nugget: Bethel is a place of solitude
Prayer: Lord, help me to return to Bethel with my household.
Prayer lines: 08054477940.
Rev. Pastor Ejikeme Ejim, General Superintendent,Assemblies of God Nigeria.
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