Monday, January 17, 2011


We know that the 1st altar is built on man's own inititation. It's interesting to see God now using a good thing. He tells Jacob go back to Bethel and build an Altar there. God understands "altars" are a good thing! A modern day name for an altar, a secular name for an altar is...."memorial". A memorial is a secular altar. It is a lesson, a remembrance in life that we never want to forget, but we . However life's lessons should have God involved...I digress, so God encourages Jacob to go back, back to the place God met him. This proves that there are times in a believers life that their faith is dimming, struggling and pittering away and God says, these altars, they are a good thing, go back to them. Build them and remember where have have met you and what I have done for you, in the past and let that memorial, spiritual reference point, ALTAR, encourage you into the future. Notice verse 16 "Then they moved on from Bethel".   God brought Jacob back here for the sole purpose of a reference point for him and then says, "now let's move on". We cannot stay and worship at our altars forever, because if we do, the inverse will happen, it will not encourage but depress us (those were the days....). We must reference, remember and then move on to the future beleiving to build new altars and have new conquests for God.
      Another note worthy point is Israel not confronting Reuben about sleeping with his concubine, the verse simply says "and Israel heard of it". If what to confront in life is black and white, then surely this was one of those black and white issues, I mean c' why doesn't Israel confront Reuben?  Is he chicken? I think not! Does he think it's okay?  I think not!  So why?  We don't know, but we do know that Israel brings it up years later when he is distributing the blessings to his sons.  Could it be that in life the issues we confront are not black and white and we must have a sensitivity and disernment. Perhaps this is why we have so much conflict in our relationships, because we cannot discern what to confront and what to let go for the time being. Another point is, that perhaps this is a reflection of God in Israel. How often have we committed awful sins and thought for sure the hammer was going to fall, but it never did....almost causing us to think, "did I actually get away with that?" You know Reuben is thinking this. He has waited and waited to be confronted by his father, but he never is, he couldn't help think, "I got away with it!!!".  Learn a lesson here, we may sin or do what we know is wrong and God may seem to remain silent, he knows, as Israel knew, but he remains silent, but know this, when it comes time for the blessings to be distributed, don't be surprised when all your brothers are being blessed, and you are not.