I cannot imagine the position Israel found himself in. His daughter was raped, his sons took revenge; not just on the man who raped Dinah, but by killing all the males in the city and taking their wives, children and possessions. Jacob knew the Canaanites and the Perizzites could destroy him and his family for what his sons had done to Shechem. What would El-Elohe-Israel tell Israel to do?
God told Jacob to get up and come to My House. Bethel means "House of God". Jacob told his family to get rid of their idols, purify themselves and put on clean clothes as preparation to come before God. What do you think; acts of repentance?
Psalm 91:14-15 says, "Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him". Israel definitely knew the Name to call upon.
Almighty God, I must confess I do not understand all Your ways. But I acknowledge Your ways and thoughts are higher than mine. Thank You for being my deliverer and protector when I, too, am undeserving.
I remember this event when things are going south. The disciples were in the middle of the storm because Jesus made them get in the boat. The word "made" means forced or compelled. It was Jesus' will for them to be in the boat, not their own. When God has called me to something and it does not seem to be going well, this passage encourages me. Just the fact that Jesus "saw" them 3 or 4 miles off shore (John 6:19) somewhere between 3 and 6 AM, strengthens my resolve in the middle of my storm.
Jesus, You are the all seeing, all knowing God. Thank You for putting me in situations beyond my capacity. Thank You for seeing and coming to me in my distress.
Three times now (Job 1:1, 1:8, 2:3), God has described Job in the same way. His perspective of Job is settled. Understanding the fear of God is not a topic that gets as much attention today as loving God, even though we are commanded to do both. The Bible makes a big deal out of fearing God. Proverbs 1:7 provides great insight into why this is important. "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction". Since the beginning, the start, the foundation, of knowledge is the fear of God, there must be more God wants to teach us. Obviously, He would want us to follow His instructions. So is fear the beginning of obedience?
I am a blessed man because I had an earthly father whom I both loved and feared. He loved me enough to correct me when I needed correction.
My God and Father, thank You for the gift of Jack Stokes. He was great at pointing me to You, both, in word and deed.