Date: September 15, 2019

Bible Text: |

Genesis 28:10-22 - 10Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11When 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. 12He 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. 13There 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. 14Your 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. 15I 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.’ 16When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, ‘Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.’ 17He was afraid and said, ‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.’ 18Early 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. 19He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz. 20Then Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the LORD will be my God 22and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.’
I. The LORD is With Us, His People, and with His Angelic Hosts Ministers to All Our Needs (Gen. 28:10-17).
Genesis 35:1-15 - 1Then 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.” 2So 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. 3Then 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.” 4So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem. 5Then they set out, and the terror of God fell on the towns all around them so that no one pursued them. 6Jacob and all the people with him came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan. 7There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother. 8Now Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried under the oak outside Bethel. So it was named Allon Bakuth.
9After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. 10God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.” So he named him Israel. 11And God said to him, “I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will be among your descendants. 12The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.” 13Then God went up from him at the place where he had talked with him. 14Jacob 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. 15Jacob called the place where God had talked with him Bethel.
II. We Offer Up unto the LORD Our Lives with Praise and Thanksgiving for His Mercy and Grace (Gen. 35:1-15).
III. We Celebrate the LORD’S Faithfulness at Bethel as we Expectantly Anticipate His Future Work Within and Among Us. Questions for further study and review: 1. What are some of the ways God has seen you through difficult times during the past year? 2. Read Gen. 28:10-22. Flip back a few pages in Genesis. What was it that necessitated Jacob fleeing from his brother, Esau? Explain what is happening in 28:10-22 in your own words. What is the Lord’s promise to Jacob? What was the essence of Jacob’s vow to the Lord? 3. Briefly skim over the time between Gen. 28:22 and Gen. 35:1. What has transpired in Jacob’s life? Read Gen. 35:1-15. What prompts Jacob to return to Bethel? What is his response? Why? 4. What is the significance of Jacob’s actions in 35:6-7 and 14-15? 5. Take time this week to thank the Lord for His mercy and grace to you this past year, and for His mercy and grace to Bethel this year.

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