No matter how far we’ve gone away from Him, there is great comfort to know God still loves us and still calls us.
Today’s Reading: Genesis 35:1-36:43 (additional reading Psalm 15:1-5 and Proverbs 3:21-26)
Key Verse: Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.” Genesis 35:1
God is said to Jacob “Go back to Bethel. Go back to where you made your vow, back where you first felt My presence. Go back and renew your vows and start life over again.”
Jacob was glad to go. He had sinned and felt the need of God’s mercy. He had cheated others and had been cheated. Life held no peace for him. He felt the need of God. He heard God’s call and went back to Bethel and rededicated his life in that holy place.
Oh, how we wander. Maybe today you have drifted far away from God. You can still remember your Bethel, you’ve had an experience with God, but it been a long time. You can remember that close encounter with God, but you’re not there now.
No matter how far we’ve gone away from Him, there is great comfort to know God still loves us and still calls us. Sometimes we are so busy with the world that we cannot hear Him, but He is still calling us “Back to Bethel” — what does it mean to us today?
In an article entitled “The Gym of the Soul” there is a quote from someone who says, “No matter what, you can overcome your past. With help, if you look to God, you can overcome your past and be reborn.” .. ‘The more I go to church, and the more I turn myself over to the process of believing in Jesus and listening to His Word and having Him guide my hand, I feel as though the pressure is off me now.’ This was not a preacher who was quoted, rather it was Sylvester Stallone, a.k.a. “Rocky / Rambo.”
Stallone says that he has had his own personal crisis of faith, his own Bethel. Most of us cannot say that we have seen the sky open, nor have we passed by any flaming bushes. We have not had blinding experiences like Paul on the road to Damascus. But we have all had those times when God comes unexpectedly into our lives. When we hear Him speak clearly. When He directs our steps.
The good news is that when we wandered and cannot find our way to God, God will come to us. If you are running like Jacob, running from family, broken relationships, from problems, from God or heading into an uncertain future, today is the time to head back to Bethel.
- Have you wandered from God?
- When are some times when you’ve experienced a closer relationship with God?
- Are you running when you ought to be returning?
Father, Thank You that you are calling us back to Yourself. Sorry for those times we run from You and your plans for us. Help us not to be distracted by the world but to stay close to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen