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"Then come, let us go up to Bethel" II

Jan 30, 2018 04:47 AM EST


Genesis 28:10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran.
28:11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep.
28:12 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.
28:13 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.
28:14 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.
28:15 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."
28:16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it."
28:17 He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven."
28:18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it.
28:19 He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz. 

The cross is love, the resurrection is eternal life obtained through the sacrifice and serving of love. If we lose the motive of this love, we become arrogant because of what we have. Why did the Jews in Romans Chapter 2 fell into arrogance? They lost their mission. Although we love and serve God, if we lose the love in our heart, our faith will fall into arrogance by having the Word of God and His covenant. Blessing becomes curse.

The law that God gives us is the light which shines on each of us. It is to see my sin and to lead me to Salvation. But the Jews did not make the light shine on them, but rather they used it as a tool to judge and condemn others by raising themselves up.

They did not approach the Gentiles. They did not even have a meal with them. Jonah is a representative of the Jews. God said him to go to Nineveh, the land of Pagan, to preach His Word. But Jonah refused to go and boarded a boat to Tarshish, the land of gold. When we read the Word, if we could not figure out the deep meaning in it, and when we did not obey the will, we will become arrogant. This is not a distant story, but a story that can be our own story.

However, Jacob never forgot his brother who tried to kill him though. The wailing of Eseu who lost blessing kept followed him. Somehow he also tried to recover his brother so that he could receive God's blessing. This is the history of God and the history of restoration. Jacob wanted to go the way of salvation. Even when an angel came and tried to stop him, but he never stopped. He wrestled with the anger on the Jabbok River, facing this question, "Do you really want to restore your brother and be reconciled to him and become one?" If we live like that, God will bless you.

There are many troubles and hardships among the path. But to Jacob, the suffering was the angel sent by God. For him, it was a process of training him and refining his faith like a pure gold. Do you really want to go to your brother? God wants to see my way is not by force or any condition, but I must go that way according to my will. Even if things seem to stop you, can you keep going until the end still? Are you truly willing to serve your brother through what you received from God? Are you really gonna empty yourself to make him rich?

This is the heart of Jesus. He walked the path of the cross on His own willingly. Father, if you can, take this bitter cup away from me, but not by my will but the will of the Father. When my father's will is your will and you want to go on the path of the cross, you will taste the victory of faith.

God is trying to see this heart in us. In Philippians 2, it says bear this heart. This is the heart of Christ Jesus who emptied Himself, who lowered Himself, and even died to make the will of God done. The heart is a small thing, but God seeks something little which is invisible.

After escaping from Egypt, the Israelites went to the place of Succoth for three days. In view of the faith of the three days, the faith of the little mustard seed, God lead the whole way through the wilderness of the people by the pillar of fire by night and by the pillar of fire by day.

Do you want to go, even if you are blocked? Are you going to the end? When we fight over this battle, we taste a real victory and it truly becomes "your victory". God really wants us to be His heirs. As you have seen, Jacob went out into the wilderness. Normally, no one gives his business to his child easily. When the will of the Father becomes my will, his becomes mine. There are always spoils after wars. If you do not win, you will not take it. If you win in this fight, you inherit everything. Jacob overcame his wrestling and became Israel. Victor, it means victor.

The God of Bethel did not only give Jacob a commission, but He also made him realizes that He was with him. I'm scared here! I thought I was alone in this wilderness, but I was not alone, indeed God was here with me. The place where I stand is the temple of God, and that every land I step on is a dwelling place of God. God gives us dreams, promises, commissions, and walks with us wherever we go.

Jacob kept the dream of Bethel where he first met God, the dream of the stairway between heaven and earth in him, and lived for 21 years holding on to that mission. And by the grace of God, he was blessed with many riches. And eventually, he met his brother. And he handed out all the blessings he receives to his brother.

This way of recovery, the path of reconciliation, we cannot go this way without knowing the love of the Lord's cross. We cannot win unless we accept the love revealed through the cross. We cannot go this path to the end. Jacob was able to become a victor because he believed in love of God that he could recover from Esau.

Even if the suffering comes, and the temptation of the world comes to you, even though God may not answer you, God is the one who raises up, who has mercy on the mere reed and the lamenting light. Will he who bestows on you even his most precious son, will take care of you and give you the best? For those who believe in God's love, suffering is not a crisis, but an opportunity, and his weakness is to reveal the greater power of God, the shrinkage is to run farther, and the slower is to be made into a larger vessel. An angel from God came and stopped Jacob and broke his bones, but he tried to walk the path to the end. The way of faith always faces this question: "Are you still want to keep going?"