Gen 28:10-21 “And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac… And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not… this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven… And he called the name of that place Bethel… And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God.”
BETHEL: The House of God
Bethel from this scripture means the House of God, where many run to when their sun is about to set. The wealth of a man can be evaluated when entering his house, and not just his wealth but his likes and the things he loves… God has brought many of us into His house, and He has changed our lives, giving us life changing encounters in His house, He has transformed our world and made us brand new.
Hebrew 12 describes God’s house as the city of the living God, it is the heavenly Jerusalem, (i.e. a representation of what heaven is here on earth).
• It is a place of uncountable company of angels (that minister to we the heirs of salvation),
• The Church; an Assembly of God’s firstborn, children whose names are written in heaven,
• God’s house is where you can find God the judge of all people,
• In God’s house there is fellowship with the spirits of just men made perfect, those who have been redeemed in heaven and made perfect,
• In attendance is Jesus Himself; our meditator of the new covenant whose blood speaks beyond vengeance as that of Abel, but speaks forgiveness, mercy, health, life, peace, grace, love, victory, protection and provision,
• And also his Word. His word will cause a shaking and the temporal things that we all are seeking to acquire (money, food, cloth, wife, car, fame, power) will be removed, but only things of eternal value that we’ve put our heart to do will remain.
Just as God met with Jacob in Bethel and gave him His word, likewise many of us have gotten revelations, had encounters with God in Bethel and have received covenant Words for our purpose and destiny. God has spoken to us, we’ve learnt how to discern the voice of God and the voice of men and He has promised never to leave us until He has fulfilled all the oath He swore to us in His house.
But many of us like Jacob rejoiced in the revelation for a while, and never bothered to climb the ladder but left and moved on with our own agenda for our lives… then we promise to pay God wages if He should prosper our own journey and ambitions and valued God’s wages to be 10% of our income.
Gen 31:13, “I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me…”
Gen 35:1-3, And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God… 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. 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.
If you’ve left Bethel in pursuit of happiness like many, it’s time to come back to Him who can give you everlasting joy and save your from all distress and cause sorrow and mourning to flee away. Isaiah 35:10, 51:11.
To us all in God’s own family, let us make sure we have encounter with the God who can change our lives, the one whose script for our life is flawless and glorious. Our script for our lives can’t take us far in life and certainly can’t give us a name among the great men who made a mark in their generation. Let’s accept the invitation of the father to climb the ladder to see his face, let those who leave Bethel not come back to seek God and meet us the same way they left us at the base of the ladder. John 1:51 revealed to us that Jesus is this ladder; he’s the way to the Father (John 14:6).
Gen 32:24-31, And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.
PENIEL: The Face of God
Peniel, the place where men see the face of God and the sun or righteousness rises over them.
Bethel has an archive of a great number of men and women who passed through and never accepted the offer to climb and see the face of God, they were consumed by their ambitions the desire for financial security and material prosperity.
Jacob had to come to an end of all his ambition when all his experience after leaving bethel is from one failure to another failure.
Are you a believer experiencing failure in any area of your life? I’m glad to tell you that God has a purpose to achieve in that failure. He did not set you up to fail, you did yourself, but in that failure, there are dross he wants to remove (Pro 25:4, Remove impurities from the silver and the silversmith can craft a fine chalice; MSG). Just like he wasn’t too concerned about Peter not falling at the point of temptation, this is obvious because He never prayed for Peter not to fall, but his prayer for Peter was that he’s faith should not fail. God is more interested in our faith in His Love for us not failing than in us not falling… Parents will prefer to go through the pain of seeing their children fall in the process of learning to walk than for the child not to neither fall nor walk. There is a bigger picture to every falling for believers and that is seeing the face of God.
There are many patriarchs of faith who experienced a falling, but after the falling saw the face of God and changed their story to a more glorious one.
Job is a good example
(Job 42:5 In the past I knew only what others had told me, but now I have seen you with my own eyes; GNB)
There is more to what we’ve heard about God, and until we see and behold him all we have is information.
Let’s climb the ladder and see him ourselves and behold his face and be changed into the same image from glory to glory by his Spirit.