Back to Bethel
“’I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now arise, go out from this land and return to the land of your kindred.’”
Jacob is facing yet another daunting crossroads in his life: should he stay with a swindling father-in-law just to secure his livelihood or should he go back to his homeland and risk facing Esau just to start a new life afresh? That’s the short of it. But Jacob needs more than wisdom; he needs God’s presence; and I love the Lord’s message to him here in verse 12. Now, I doubt Jacob’s forgotten his Genesis 28-mountaintop experience—the starry night, the wild dream, the crisp, cool morning air—but maybe he’s put it behind him. Maybe he thinks to himself, “That rock’s a long way off now, and a lot’s changed over the past twenty years—I mean I’ve moved on—so maybe God’s moved on as well.” But God cuts through all that by effectively saying, “Jacob, it’s still Me—that monument’s long gone, but I’m your Rock! That hill’s out of sight, but I’m Bethel! Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
I don’t know about you, friend, but I needed that word from the Lord today as much as Jacob.