Sometimes, due to wrong decisions, we do face very serious consequences in life. At such situations we will be in a state of confusion, not knowing what to do next. But the very comforting part is, God does not easily give up on us. In spite of, we being unworthy of second or third chances, He still patiently reaches out to us, which is unbelievable. It is humbling to see our God, like a father whose love for his children never fails, coming after us always. The thought for our reflection this morning is, “Our God Sends His Right Word to us in Season."
Then 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” (Genesis 35:1)
When we closely look at the context of the passage we come to know that Jacob was really in a troubled state of mind. Jacob’s sons had taken justice in their hands by killing every male of Shechem to avenge the wrong done to their sister Dinah by the son of the ruler of the area. When Jacob rebuked his sons for acting rashly, they brushed him aside by justifying their act as a fitting punishment for violating their sister. Thus, knowing very well Jacob’s state of mind, God sent His perfect Word to him.
1. God sent his Word to COMFORT Jacob.
Jacob was anxious that people living in that land might seek vengeance for what his sons had done to the males of Shechem. He said to Simeon and Levi,
“You have brought trouble on me by making me a stench to the Canaanites and Perizzites, the people living in this land” (Genesis 34:30).
Thus when Jacob was frightened of retaliation for the murderous acts of his sons, God sent his Word to Jacob: “Go up to Bethel and settle there”. It was like God saying, “Jacob, don’t worry, I will handle the repercussions of your sons’ rash acts. But you go to the place where I want you to go.” Is it not true that whenever we are in a state of fear, God has never failed to send His Word to comfort us at the right time?
2. God sent his Word to CORRECTLY DIRECT Jacob.
The cause of Jacob’s troubles in Shechem was due to his disobedience. Instead of going straightaway from Paddan Aram to Bethel he settled in Shechem. So God directed Jacob clearly to go to Bethel and build an altar there for Him. Thus it was not only a word in season to comfort his disquieted mind but it was also a timely word to direct him to build an altar to worship God at Bethel. Are we in a state of confusion not knowing what to do next? Would not our God who directed Jacob correctly, direct us too?
Mathew Henry says,
“Bethel was forgotten by Jacob. But as many as God loves, He will remind of neglected duties, one way or other, by conscience or by providences."
The same God will comfort us when we are frightened and correctly direct us when we go in the wrong path by sending His Word. Let’s pray:
"Dear Lord, forgive me if I have neglected my duties or made decisions contrary to your plans. You alone know my fears and worries. “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy” (Psalms 94:19). “Direct my footsteps according to your Word; let no sin rule over me” (Psalms 119:133). Thanks for the perfect Word which you always send in season to comfort and direct me. In Jesus’ name, Amen!"