Summary: God called Jacob to Bethel, so what’s he doing in Shechem?


Intro: Jerome Engles, Babies & Hymnals, $.75.

Years ago, a Pastor, named Jerome Engles was

making an announcement in church about the

new hymnals, a man in the congregation stood up

and also announced the annual Baptism service

where all the babies could be baptized. Jerome,

not hearing very well, thinking they’re still talking

about hymnals added, "And if you want one of

your own, you can get one from me for 75 cents."

In Gen. 35:1, God says to Jacob, Arise, go up to

Bethel--and Jacob heard and went! This may not

seem like any big deal unless you know that God

had told Jacob to do this before in Gen. 31:3, this

was about ten years before Gen. 35. But Jacob

wasn’t listening. Jerome Engles had a physical

hearing problem, but Jacob had a spiritual one.

Let’s talk about it. Look, and tell me, what was

God telling Jacob to do? Gen. 28 makes it clear

that the place Jacob was to head for was Bethel.

So, look at Gen. 33:18-20; where is he? (Shechem)

Where was he supposed to be? (Bethel!)

A little geography might be helpful. In Gen. 31,

he’s in, say, Erie. God tells him to head about a

hundred miles south, to, say, Pittsburgh, but, he

stops about 30 miles north in, say Cranberry. He

not only stops, he buys a piece of land, settles

down. His kids start to go to the Cranberry

schools, they hang out at the malls. Jacob, thinks

"Hey, there’s lots of good pro-spects for marriage

here, this place looks good, it’s close to Bethel,

surely God won’t mind if, I’m close, I’ll go to

church every week, get involved, it’ll be OK."

But, Shechem is not Bethel; and OK is not Good

Enough; Mediocrity will never worship His

Majesty; the Flesh cannot see the things of the

Spirit, Religion can never have the supernatural

joy of a Relationship with the God of Heaven

because it is Earthly.

Shechem is, therefore a place of the world, the

cares of the world, the troubles of the world, the

religion of the world, the trajedies of the world,

the pain of the world.

Anybody here living in Shechem? Anybody here

not living in Shechem? You want to die in

Shechem? Then, hear the Lord calling you,

"Arise, go up to Bethel!"

Bethel is the place where you can find God,

Bethel, means "The House of God!" In Gen. 28,

Jacob gave the name "Bethel" to the place where

he saw the ladder to Heaven, he said, this is the

Gate of Heaven, Heaven’s Gate is not some stupid

comet, it’s the place of the Spirit when you pray

and God is there! A lot of people pray and God is

not there, Jacob prayed and God was really there,

that’s why he called the place "El" Bethel. The

God of the House of God.

We have a "Bethel," here, but do we have an "El"

Bethel? We have a house of God here, but is God

here in a conscious way; a way we can see, hear,

feel, sense? When we come, do we have the sense

that we are entering His Gates, and His Courts;

do our songs mingle with the angels and saints of

heaven? When we leave, do we look at one

another in awe and say, "Surely, we have been in

the Presence of the Lord? If not, then we need to

learn the secret of putting the El in Bethel. The

Secret of the realized presence of God.

How do we put the El in Bethel?

God said it, Arise and Go up! It’s like a race. The

man in charge, says ready, set, go. Well, "Arise"

is Ready Set, and "Go," is Go!

1. First, Arise. Arise means you have to do

something. Arise means you have to see

something, you have to confess something, you

have to leave something and (next week) you have

to go towards something. You can’t arise and sit

at the same time.

(Test, testimonyy-Testaphony) (Big Switch-fight


(1) See. Jacob had to see that he wasn’t where

God Wanted him. He was in the land of Shechem,

the land of mediocrity and "it’ll do" is not where

God wants us, yet most Christians live in

Shechem. It’s so sad, we often start off in Bethel,

but wind up in Shechem, we don’t mean to, it’s

just the easy way out. We think,

"It’ll do, I can live with it!"

God is not the God of "it’ll do," what if Creation

had a God of "It’ll do" In the Beginning, and

God said, "it’ll do." and God created man,

whoops, not exactly what I was hoping for, oh

well, it’ll do. The Tree, sin, Oh well, I can live

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