Updated: Aug 16, 2018
(Gen 35:1) Then God said to 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 a favorite place. It was in Bethel where he fled to after stealing his brother’s blessing. It was there he had a dream of a ladder and angels. It was there God spoke to him and assured his heart. It was there he realized the presence of God. It had been over twenty years since he had been there. Now God was calling him back there to build an altar and worship Him. Jacob had gotten comfortable. He enjoyed his coziness because for so long he had faced adversity and hardship. But in his prosperity, he had lost his first love. Now God was calling him back to Bethel.
What is keeping you from a closer walk with the Lord? Have you grown so accustomed to your lifestyle that you have neglected your relationship with God? What are some things that keep us from a closer walk with Jesus? (Mark 4:18-19) "Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, 19 "and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. God is calling us back to our first love. (Rev 2:4-5) " . . . I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 "Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place; unless you repent.
In returning to his first love, Jacob called upon his family to put away the foreign gods amongst them (Gen 35:2). Returning to our first love will cost us all other loves. (Mat 16:24) Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. (Mat 10:37-38) "He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 "And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. (Luke 14:33) "So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. (1 John 5:21) Little children, keep yourselves from idols.
Our hearts are forever straying away from the Lord. (Isa 53:6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way . . . Sometimes we don’t even know we are drifting away. (Heb 2:1) Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. We refer so much to the sinner coming to Christ for the first time and we also make appeals for the backslider to return to the Lord. But what about those of us who need to make a fresh rededication? And doesn’t that begin every day as we rise and present our bodies to the Lord as a living sacrifice? (Rom 12:1)
It’s time to get on that road “back to Bethel” and rededicate our lives to the Lord!