The Way Back To Bethel
Our text will come from Genesis 35:1-2. 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. 2. Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: 3. 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.
Often times we get off the beaten track so to speak. At times we may feel that we are doing pretty well with our spiritual walk but as it happens so many times it’s not long that the devil gets in there and messes things up to the point that we may feel out of place or lost in high weeds. It’s during these times that we may not know how to get back to where we were with the Lord. We need help from the Lord.
So how do we get back to God? Our text says that when Jacob was in distress he fled to a place called Bethel, which means “House of God.” There he found satisfaction, confidence, protection, contentment, and solitude. He then journeyed on to live in Padan-aram for over 20 years. Then the Lord told him to go back up to Bethel and dwell there. Jacob obeys the Lord and tells those that are with him to get up, put away the strange gods, wash up, and change your clothes. In other words quit being lazy, get rid of those things that you are putting before God, clean your act up, and change your appearance. These things indicate you have lost your fellowship with the Lord. And you just need to go back to Bethel.
Want to find your way back? There is hope for you. Thank God that the Lord is always ready for you to draw closer to him.
Let’s notice some things from this text that will help us find our way back to Bethel. 1. God wants us to come back to Bethel where we once had great fellowship with God and where he delivered us from the pressures and attacks of the world. See verse 1. 2. There are some things that must be gotten rid of. Verse 2. 3. We need to change our actions and appearance. Verse 2. 4. Jacob tells the people to ‘arise’, indicating they were idle or just laying around and not doing much. Get up and get going, after all, an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. 5. The text says the Lord told them to “Go up to Bethel” indicating that when you move away from the Lord, you are going down. When you move closer to the Lord, you are going up which is the right direction that you want to be going.
If you will ask God to help with these things you can get back to Bethel, “The house of God.”
One last interesting note. When Jacob goes back to Bethel he no longer names it Bethel, but El-bethel, “The God of the house of God.” It is all about God and how to get back in fellowship with him.
May God guide you back to Bethel.