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8 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD. 9 Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev. NIV
3 From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier 4 and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the LORD. NIV
12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it stood the LORD, and he said: "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
Bethel is translated as “The House Of God.” Abraham built an altar there in his journey, and worshiped God there. Then after traveling for some time, he went back to Bethel and called on the name of the Lord. Bethel became a name associated with worshiping and offering up prayers. It was at this site that Abraham’s Grandson, Jacob, had a life changing experience here, so again it was at Bethel (The House Of God) where men of God offered prayers at the altar there.
Later it was here, at Bethel, that God instructed Jacob to settle. Again it was back to Bethel to meet God. Read Gen. 35:1-5 below to get that story.
35:1 Then God said to Jacob, "Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau."
2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. 3 Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone." 4 So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem. 5 Then they set out, and the terror of God fell upon the towns all around them so that no one pursued them.
As I look at us today I see the need to seek the Lord in a daily walk and also getting our nation on a course back to God. Our nation has drifted away from God and become the Godly nation that it was founded on. “BACK TO BETHEL” if we may. When Abraham and Jacob needed God’s input on their lives, they went back to Bethel. I ask you to pray for our nation’s return to God (BACK TO BETHEL we can say). Allowing sin to come between us and God separates us from God, and the only way back is “BACK TO BETHEL.”
On a personal note, it is so good to be well enough to do a blog like this again. It’s been a long hard road this year. Things I wanted to accomplish fell by the way side. Knowing what God wanted in my life became a soul searching matter, but I have diligently sought God on many matters. He has brought me through these time. God Bless all of you is my prayer.
Rev Zack Martin Sr.