Jacob knew he messed up. He knew he should not have moved his family to Heathenville, he knew he should have taken charge of the Dinah incident, and he knew he should have reeled-in his boys prior to their becoming mass-murders. Jacob also knew God’s grace when he saw it, for when God told him, “Arise, ” and go back to Bethel, he understood the wonderful implication—God forgives me. God fundamentally is saying to Jacob, “Go back to the place you last felt My presence.” It has always been His message to us as well.
Jacob is so bowled over by God’s mercy; so appreciative; so grateful, as a devotional response he removes every trace of evil from his home. His family had to be thankful too, for there is not one objection to Jacob’s request. If you don’t think that’s noteworthy, just imagine the mayhem that would ensue if we as parents suddenly decided to remove all the ‘idolized’ things from our dwelling places.
God is in the House
While it was true there was gratefulness and jubilation galore, there was also reckonable spiritual growth. We would recall that when Jacob first arrived at Luz he renamed the place ‘Bethel’; i.e. he changed the name from ‘separated’ to ‘House of God’–a wise and notable deed at the time. However, Jacob recognizes now that it is not the house, but the God in the house and renames the place appropriately El Bethel, or ‘The God of the House of God.”
That is huge spiritual development and the application for us is similarly gargantuan! It’s not the church; it’s the God of the church and it’s not the Bible; it’s the God of the Bible and it is not the ministry, but it is the God in the ministry. Oh how we need to remember that.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2