Friday, 19 November 2010
Seeing Christ At Our Bethels; Genesis 35
"Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments" (Genesis 35:2).
I think it more than probable also that the Lord, in tender mercy, had visited the Patriarch with afflictions to call his vows to remembrance. Revelation 3:19.
It should seem by this address of Jacob to his household that he considered his visitations in this light: Isaiah 1:16-18.
How sweetly the apostle converts such puttings away into a gospel sense! 1 Peter 3:21-22.
But reader! is it not strange that Jacob, the highly favoured, highly blessed Jacob, should suffer strange gods in his family?
Alas! what is man in his greatest attainments!
Precious Redeemer, how increasingly dear becomes the recollection of Thy salvation at every renewed instance we feel in ourselves, or are called upon to behold in others, of human corruption!
"And he built there an altar, and called the place Elbethel: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother" (Genesis 35:7).
El-bethel, that is the God of Bethel.
Reader! precious are the Bethels; the house of God, and the ordinances of God's house.
But how infinitely more precious the God of His house.
See that when you attend the house of God, your heart is waiting for the gracious visits of God in His house.
Let you and I imitate the Greeks we read of (John 12:21), and earnestly cry out; we would see Jesus.
"And Jacob called the name of the place where God spake with him, Bethel" (Genesis 35:15).
Every renewed token of Jesus' love ought to beget in our hearts renewed thankfulness.
If a gracious God at any time fulfils a promise, every gracious child would desire to act faith upon His faithfulness.
One more look at Isaac before we close the chapter, and drop the Patriarch's history.
I delight in every person and in every thing which receives in scripture the particular notice of God the Holy Ghost, to trace somewhat which may lead my heart to Jesus.
And is there nothing striking to this amount in Isaac's life?
• Was not the Redeemer long promised, long looked for, with a devout earnestness by all the church, and at length born into the world in a method contrary to the established course of natural causes; similar, but infinitely beyond the example of Isaac's birth?
• And were there not Ishmaels to mock the Lord Jesus in the long and trying persecutions He sustained, like the son of Hagar the Egyptian, despising Isaac?
• In the cheerful acquiescence which Isaac made to his father's will for sacrifice; carrying the wood; being bound upon the altar; and not offering a repining word when Abraham took the knife to slay his son; can I not, as a type, trace somewhat of Thine unequalled love;
oh! Thou Lamb of God, who voluntarily didst undertake, by the sacrifice of Thyself, the redemption of Thy people; when fainting beneath Thy cross, Thou wast led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so openedst not Thou Thy mouth!
Oh! may my soul live in the constant, daily, hourly meditation of Thy love!
May every thing tend to lead my heart unto Thee!
And may Thy love at length awaken mine, and induce all those precious effects of loving Thee who hast so loved me, as to have given Thyself for me.