Summary: Jacob first met God at Luzwhich means "a hard place." After his encounter with God he changed the name of that place to Bethel which means "the House of God." Years later Jacob finds himself returning to the place where he first met God.
GOING BACK TO BETHEL
Intro: To fully understand the message this morning it is imperative that I take you back to Genesis 27. Esau in his moment of weakness has sold his birthright to Jacob. Jacob through deception and by the held of his mother has gone to Isaac and received that birthright. Esau finally comes to the realization of what he has done and now he is so irate that he makes the statement that he would slay his brother Jacob. Rebekah has told Jacob to go to Laban’s house until Esau has calmed down. At this point I believe Jacob was a very scared man.
Jacob begins his journey to Haran but has to stop overnight at a place called Luz. He gathers some stones for a pillow and goes to sleep and it is then the Lord begins to move in his heart. There Jacob has a dream of a ladder that was set up on the earth to heaven and angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And the Lord stood above it and proclaimed (Genesis 28:13) I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;” Jacob is moved by this experience and took the stone he has used for a pillow and anointed it has a memorial. He called the place Bethel which means “the house of God.” Fast forward 30 years later and the subject of my message, “GOING BACK TO BETHEL.”
Many people are like Jacob today in that they have been to the place where they met God and have made a vow to Him that if he would help them with this or that they would live for him forever. However, troubles, trials and gross sin has caused them to forget that vow. It was 30 years later and Jacob’s family was a mess and he needed God. In verse 1 of our text “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.”
I. BETHEL IS A PLACE OF ACQUAINTANCE
A. This is the place where Jacob met God.
B. There are a lot of people today that know less about God than they did when they got saved
1. (II Peter 1:9) But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins
C. The reason for this is they have forgotten their Bethel experience
D. Jacob met God during a time of trouble in his life
E. He was fearful and was basically running for his life.
F. Many of us today need to go back to that place where we first met the Lord
G. Bethel is the place where you can go back and find power, and purity and peace
H. It is the place where you can go back and fall in love with the Lord again
II. BETHEL IS A PLACE OF AFFIRMATION
A. Can you recall all the times that you promised God that if he would help you, that you would do this or you would never do something ever again?
B. Remember the vow you took the night you was saved and promised the Lord that if he would save you then you would live for him
C. Jacob reminded of that vow that he made he made back in Genesis 28:22
D. (Genesis 28:20) 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 and raiment to put on,
E. (Genesis 28:21) So that I come again to my father’s house in peace: then shall the Lord be my God:
F. (Genesis 28:22) And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee
G. We need to go back to affirm our grace. Not to question our salvation but to affirm the grace of God in our life
H. We need to go back to affirm our goal. The reason you got saved. What event in our life helped bring us to salvation?
I. We need to go back to affirm our God. I think a lot of times people forget God is who he says He is.
III. BETHEL WAS A PLACE OF ALTARS
A. In verse 1 of our text God told Jacob to arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there, and make there an altar unto God
B. Jacob had gotten away from Bethel and settled down amongst the heathen people and now he was reaping the dividends.