Bible Readng: Gen 28:11- 22.
Bethel means “the house of God.” It was the place where Jacob had an encounter with God on his way to Paddan-aram, after he deceived his brother, Esau and ran away with his birth right. God met him unexpectedly and made a covenant with him. He promised to bless Jacob, be with him throughout his journey and also bring him back to that place of divine encounter. Jacob woke up and called the place “Bethel,” meaning the House of God. He set up a stone there and poured oil on it as an agreement between him and God. So, Bethel’s oil refers to the oil of agreement or covenant between God and Jacob.
For us today, we can say Bethel means a place where we first encountered Christ, when we surrendered our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. It could also mean the following:
- the place of covenant;
- the place of promise;
- the place of worship or fellowship;
- the place of prayer or contact with heaven;
- the place of vision and dreams; or
- the place of direction.
At the point of salvation, those were some of our experiences with God, when the Holy Spirit poured the precious oil of anointing upon us. We were full of fire in our bones, preaching everywhere, setting up series of night vigils, paying visits to our brethren in Christ and first timers, generous to everyone, careful in everything, obeying our spiritual leaders without questioning and so on. But now, everything has changed, our eyes have opened. We have matured spiritually and are now dictating to the Holy Spirit. We now glory in our past testimonies. Night vigils have now become a burden to us because we have to go to work the following day, and complaints of different kinds are given for not going for evangelism.
Jacob also forgot all the promises he made with God when things started going well with him, until God called his attention to it and asked him to go back to Bethel – Gen 35:1-7. He obeyed immediately and God re-affirmed His covenant with him. If we also can go back to our first love today, Christ is faithful to receive us back and set us on fire again with His fresh oil.
- Lord, thank you for the opportunity you are giving me today, to return home to you.
- Help me to go back to my Bethel: my first love with you.
- Holy Spirit, where ever I have sinned against you, and deserted my first love, forgive me in Jesus name.
- Lord, I drop all arguments and complaints, and surrender my will to you now in Jesus name.
- My Father, set me on fire and revive me again.
- Lord, don’t let me be busy and guilty at the end of my life in Jesus name.
- Help me to be serious with my calling and the assignments you committed into my hands in Jesus’ name.
- May the oil of the Lord not run dry upon my life in Jesus name.
- Lord, activate all the covenants you have made with me and my spiritual fathers now in Jesus name. Let me begin to enjoy their blessings this year afresh in Jesus’ name.