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Not Everyone Knows How To “Go” To Bethel

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Not Everyone Knows How To “Go” To Bethel

Many people pass by Bethel on their spiritual journey. Some just visit Bethel. Few actually “go” to Bethel. Going to Bethel is by Divine invitation and should not be taken lightly.

For Jacob, Bethel was the place of his spiritual beginning. It was where he found himself, for the first time, in the presence of God.

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 to eat, and raiment to put on,

Genesis 28:21 So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:

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.

That experience birthed a covenant relationship between himself and the Lord. He vowed to pay God tithes of all he had. He vowed to serve Him, and asked Him to be his God as well.

It had been about twenty-one years since Bethel. A lot of living had transpired in Jacob’s life since then. He’d gotten married… twice. He also had a large family by now. A vast herd of sheep and cattle followed him as well. Jacob was considered to be a wealthy man. God had richly blessed him.

However, his wives continued in their worship of idols and the wearing of jewelry. They were even willing to hazard the wrath of their father Laban, and his band of fighting servants to keep them. They were devoted to their idol worship.

Then it happened! Out of nowhere, God gave Jacob an invitation of renewal. Actually, God commanded Jacob to move back to his place of spiritual beginnings, and build an altar of consecration.

Genesis 35:1 And 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.

Here’s All That God Said: 

1. Go UP to Bethel. Going to Bethel is always an upward experience.

2. Dwell there. Don’t just visit or pass by. Move there! Get back to that first-time experience!

3. Build an Altar. Develop a relationship with me.

Genesis 35:2 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:

Genesis 35:3 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.

When God told Jacob to move to Bethel and build an altar, Jacob understood what that meant. He didn’t have to have God spell everything out for him. He knew. He not only received the Word, he received the Spirit of the Word!

 

Put Away The Strange Gods.

God hadn’t said one word about putting away the idols hidden in his wives’ tents. Jacob knew they were wrong. He had tolerated them up to now, but no more. He knew he could not go to a place of spiritual renewal with idols in his camp. They must go.

Be Clean!

Clean yourself up! We’re going where God meets with people. Jacob knew this was the most important place in the world they could ever go to. Going as they were, didn’t seem right. “Be clean,” he commanded everyone.

Change Your Garments!

Jacob could see that what they were wearing was wrong. They all needed to wear clothing that was proper for the occasion.

So, Here Is What They All Did!

Genesis 35:4 And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.

They Gave Him Their Idols.

There was no lamentation, no weeping, nor tears mentioned here. They just handed them over without making a scene. If you are going to Bethel, taking idols with you will void the experience.

 

They Gave Him All Their Earrings.

Where did that come from? Why did they do that? God hadn’t said one word about getting rid of their idols or their earrings.

Jacob hadn’t even said anything about getting rid of their earrings either. Yet, they handed them over to Jacob without ceremony.

They gave him all of their earrings. They gave him all of their idols. They not only received the Word, they received the Spirit of the Word!

 

Was There A Connection Between The Idols And The Earrings? Absolutely!

Hosea 2:13 And I will visit upon her the days of Baalim, wherein she burned incense to them, and she decked herself with her earrings and her jewels, and she went after her lovers, and forgat me, saith the LORD.

Hundreds of years later, Hosea records the connection. The custom of wearing jewels and earrings was directly connected with the worship of Baal. The wearing of earrings was part of the ceremony in worship of that idol.

The family of Jacob understood that if we get rid of our idols, we might as well get rid of whatever goes along with its worship.

God didn’t say anything about it to them in that verse, but they did it anyway. They knew, and that was enough for them.

Jacob, their husband and father hadn’t said anything either, but they knew. So they did the right thing without argument.

Without The Holy Ghost

  • Jacob’s wives responded.
  • They were convinced.
  • They were convicted.
  • They gave up their idols.
  • They gave up their jewelry.
  • They changed their clothing.
  • They cleaned up.

 

For This Generation, It’s Not Always The Same.

Many today want chapter and verse for everything. If the Bible doesn’t name their particular vice, entertainment, lifestyle, or sin, they feel justified in continuing. They will debate, argue, get mad, quit church, or move off, to maintain their lifestyle.

They will justify themselves on Facebook and comment with harshness.  Some will debate on blogs as well, in their attempt to hold on to the things that will hinder their Bethel experience.

They only want to go by the Word! If it’s not mentioned, then it must be OK.

They struggle to get the Spirit of the Word!

If you don’t think earrings are an idol even today, just trying preaching against them. Many will fight to keep them on.

I Can’t Make Anyone Go Back To Bethel

  • But God is inviting us all to go back to a simple place of renewal and spiritual restoration.
  • Don’t wait for God or the preacher to name the wrong or the sin in your life.
  • You should have enough Holy Ghost conviction in you to make you feel uncomfortable when you are not doing right.

 

Come On Church, Lets Get Right!

Come On Church, Let’s Do It Right!

Come On Church, Let’s Move Back To Bethel!

Written by Martyn Ballestero

September 19, 2012 at 12:13 am

7 Responses

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  1. AWESOME!!!

    Pat Wilson

    September 19, 2012 at 12:28 am

  2. Excellent as always. Been missing these.

    Steve Epley

    September 19, 2012 at 1:14 am

  3. GOOD PREACHING

    sharon luster

    September 19, 2012 at 7:48 am

  4. “DWELL THERE” is the challenge of Apostolics today. Thanks for the wonderful counsel. Bethel is calling!

    Gerald Adams

    September 19, 2012 at 8:47 am

  5. So true, well put!

    Mary Hynes

    September 20, 2012 at 6:47 am


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