“And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Beth-el, and dwell there: and make there an alter unto God,..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: And let us arise, and go up to Beth-el; and I will make there an alter unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. (Genesis 35:1-3) Read also Luke 15:11-32 “And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father….” v’s 17-18
The events in these stories, though coming out of two entirely very different circumstances, are given here because of the similarities that I found in them. The difference first of all, was in the patriarch’s family with the disgraceful and perilous event in She-chem of the criminality of his two sons, both in the offence they had given to God, and the dishonour which they brought on the true faith. (Genesis 34) Then secondly, we see a young son who was in such a haste to join himself to the world for instant gratifications, would demand of his father a total payout of his inheritance, only to loose it all through riotous living.
The similarities I would dare say are quite obvious. See how the subjects went and joined themselves to strange gods and citizens of other countries who participated in superstitious and ungodly practices such such as idolatry. (Gen.35:2, Luke 15:15) They soon came to their senses however and were reckoned unclean and unfit to join in the social worship of God. (Gen.35:2, Luke 15:18b-19) Recognize also how grace, mercy and providence changed the course and the path of their self-destructive behaviours and brought them back unto the path to their true faith and destiny and with the promise and provisions of plenty. (Gen.35:1, Luke 15:20-25) Here we faced truth and reality at the same time that God is indeed a merciful God and forgiving God who would not suffer us to go on the wrong path in life and not come to our rescue. We see a God who is compassionate, a God who is loving and kind, and as one who will not allow us to be tempted more than which is common to man. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye might be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
You may be reading this article today and find that it is connecting with you and there is a feeling of guilt and conviction in your spirit. Perhaps it is because you too have stepped outside of your Father’s house doing the things that are contrary to the will of God. But just like Jacob, his family and the prodigal son, God is waiting for you with outstretched arms as He bid you to come into the house of Beth-el where there is plenty for you. He is the God who provides and you will never go without. (Gen.22:14) He is the one who supplies all that you will ever have need of according to His bountiful riches in Christ Jesus His Son. (Philippians 4:19) The answer to the void and emptiness you may feel is in God’s house, that is, fullness of joy and pleasures at His right hand forever more. (Psalm 16:11) Jesus is the Bread of Life and you will not ever go without the food you need each day. (John 6:48) The burden that you feel and the weight that you are carrying, and the tiredness that you are experiencing, you have the opportunity today to trade them for God’s peace, His yoke which is easy and His burden that is light. (Matthew 11:28-30) Put on the garment of praise in the house of Beth-el in place of the spirit of heaviness; trade in your mourning for the oil of joy and receive beauty for your ashes (Isaiah 61:3); receive God’s peace (Romans 5:1) Lay down the guilt and the shame at the alter (Romans 8:1); accept your pardon and forgiveness (1 John 1:9-10); http://www.propheticministeryiwilson.org/p/salvation.html receive your badge of ‘son ship‘ and be led and guided by the Spirit of God once more. (Romans 8:14-15)
May God bless you and empower your life with the transforming power by His grace!