THE LONG WAY BACK HOME
Jacob is now ready to move towards Bethel. Unfortunately he stops short of God’s purpose for him. He settles at Shechem, a pagan city of the Canaanites, about 15 miles from Bethel (Gen 34). It seems that he stayed there a long time for he buys land from Hamor, the pagan king to settle in Shechem. Jacob digs his own well there.
(Many years later, Jesus has a wonderful conversation with the Samaritan woman at that well (Jn 4).)
This proves that Jacob stayed there at least ten years. Then trouble comes. Dinah, his only daughter becomes a teenager and makes friends with the pagan girls. She is raped by the prince of the land. They marry but the marriage does not last. Angry for revenge, Hamor his son and many of their people are killed by Jacob’s sons. Jacob has to leave the land in a hurry to finally go to Bethel.
This story reveals how easy it is to disobey God and settle in the world. Sin is defined as an action that falls short of God’s glory, plan and purpose. Shecehm stands for sin. But God forces them to move ahead. Finally they move on towards Bethel.
“Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.” (Gen 35:1)
The command is also very clear: arise- go up to Bethel and dwell there. You shall not visit Bethel, you shall dwell there. That is your destination, God’s purpose for you. In Bethel you are not an immigrant but a citizen! You shall build an altar to God there. You shall meet your brethren, your spiritual family! That is where you belong!
This is a great lesson: if you are a child of God, you cannot backslide ‘forever’. If you like it or not, God will shake your ‘comfort zone’ and sooner or later you must move on to fulfill your destiny! God cannot ‘lose’ you!
In Christ I declare:
I belong to Jesus!
I am a citizen of heaven!
I am dead to the world and the world is dead to me!
I no longer live but it is Christ living in me!
I shall fulfill my destiny!
To the glory of God!
In Jesus name