Tag: House of God

Abundant Truth and mercy!

Scripture reading for January 20th: Genesis 35-37, Psalm 12; Mark 14

Mark 14:27-30 “”You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.” “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “Today–yes, tonight–before the rooster crows twice, You yourself will disown Me three times.” But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with You, I will never disown You.” And all the others (disciples) said the same thing.”

Jesus truly knew the end from the beginning. He knew He would be crucified and rise again. He would meet them in Galilee. He spoke plainly to the disciples concerning the fulfilment of Scripture from Zechariah 13:7. He had just told them that heaven and earth would pass away, but His Word would never pass away. Peter declared his own allegiance to Jesus, above all others. He was sincere, but not believing or understanding the truth that Jesus had shared. Jesus plainly told him of his threefold denial before the rooster would crow twice that very night. Luke 22:33 records Jesus told Peter that He had prayed that his faith would not fail and that when he repented he would strengthen the brothers. We can have abundant certainty when we listen to God’s Word! We are now His House and He speaks to us!

Genesis 35:13-15 “Then God went up from him at the place where He had talked with him. Jacob set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it. Jacob called the place where God had talked with him Bethel (House of God).”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for speaking to me in my own spirit and heart, which has been given to You. Thank You for Your Words, even when they expose my own sin and lack of faith. Thank You for Your prayers of intercession for me. Thank You for the promises of Your Word that give me faith and vision for the future. Deliver me from self-deception and human pride in my own ability and strength.

Psalm 12:6 “And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver purified in a crucible, like gold refined seven times.”

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The Altar at Bethel

Scripture reading for January 13th: Genesis 32-36

Can you imagine working for seven years for the girl you loved, only to wake up on your wedding morning with her sister?  (Genesis 30:25)  Can you imagine working another 7 years for the girl and your father-in-law, who changes your wages all the time?  Can you imagine rivalry for a husband’s affection in a home with two wives and four concubines?   Jacob turned to building altars to meet with God.  Prayer was the only way to make it through the trouble!

One day after nearly 20 years in Paddan Aram, God spoke to Jacob about returning to his homeland.  (Genesis 31:3)  Jacob gathered up his family and set out with his flocks.  Laban came after him and confronted him, but God dealt with Laban to let him go.  God is so thorough with His plans that when He speaks, we can be certain that they will come to pass.  After wrestling with God, Jacob successfully returned to his homeland and Esau made peace with him.  In Canaan, he bought a plot of ground near Shechem and set up an altar and called it “Mighty is the God of Israel“.  (Genesis 33:20)  Jacob tried to honor the Lord who had so blessed and helped him.

During this stay at Shechem one of Jacob’s daughters, Dinah, was raped by one of the men of Shechem.  This infuriated her brothers and two of them secretly plotted to get even.  Revenge may seem sweet momentarily, but only God can repay!  The murder of the townsmen by Levi and Simeon brought trouble on Jacob’s family and he became fearful.  He evidently sought the Lord and God spoke to him, “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.” (Genesis 35:1)  God again met Jacob and changed his name to Israel!  “Israel” means “conquered by God”!

We note again the ongoing conversation and direction from the Lord that Jacob had.  He was in covenant relationship with God and God was caring for him through all his troubles.  Bethel became an early center of worship in Israel.  Jacob learned how important it was to follow God and worship regularly.  The altar was established as a place to meet with God through sacrifice.

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