“Then God said to Jacob, ‘Get ready and move to Bethel and settle there.
Build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother, Esau.’”
After twenty long years, Jacob’s journey back home had some alarming delays. Upon arriving in Shechem, Jacob’s daughter was raped, and out of revenge, her brothers murdered all the men in that town. Jacob’s life seemed to once again be headed for disaster.
However, God graciously redirected Jacob’s path as He gave these instructions, “Get ready and move to Bethel.” That was the site where God had originally appeared to Jacob, the place he had then named the House of God. Jacob needed to regain focus by going back to where his relationship with God had started, and there, build another altar.
However, before setting foot in Bethel, Jacob also needed to purify his family. The idols they had acquired in foreign lands had no place in the House of God. So, Jacob buried those idols forever, right where they belonged…in Shechem, the place of his family’s defilement.
Then, with a purified heart, Jacob returned to Bethel. And there, at his newly built altar, God gave Jacob a fresh revelation of Himself…El Shaddai, God Almighty. Bethel, the House of God, became the place of new promises and abundant blessings. No wonder God instructed Jacob to settle in Bethel…the house of God’s Presence!
Then what about me? Wouldn’t God’s Presence also be a great place for me to settle?