“and let us arise and go up to Bethel, and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone,” [35:3].
Do you find it incredulous that the Almighty God, Creator of the Universe, the Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent One chooses to be with us? It’s really incomprehensible! But by His choosing He comes, He appears to make Himself known, to be with us!
Consider Him Who Is With Us!
- He Is With Us to be worshiped. “Arise, go up to Bethel and live there, and make an altar there to God… Then God went up from him in the place where He had spoken with him. 14 Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He had spoken with him, a pillar of stone, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it. 15 So Jacob named the place where God had spoken with him, Bethel,” [35:3, 13-15].
- He Is With Us to purify us. “So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods which are among you, and purify yourselves and change your garments,” [35:2].
- He Is With Us in the day of our distress. “God, who answered me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone,” [35:3].
- He Is With Us to strike fear in our enemy. “As they journeyed, there was a great terror upon the cities which were around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob,” [35:5]
- He Is With Us to reveal His transforming power. “Then God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him. 10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob; you shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name,” [35:9-10].
- He Is With Us to reveal Himself. “God also said to him, ‘I am God Almighty,’ ” [35:11].
- He Is With Us to give us purpose. “Be fruitful and multiply,” [35:11].
- He Is With Us to confirm His promises. “A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come forth from you. 12 “The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac, I will give it to you, and I will give the land to your descendants after you,” [35:11-12].
- He Is With Us to prepare us. “It came about while Israel was dwelling in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine, and Israel heard of it,” [35:22].
- He Is With Us to bring comfort. “Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre of Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had sojourned. 28 Now the days of Isaac were one hundred and eighty years. 29 Isaac breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, an old man of ripe age; and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him,” [35:28-29].
How do we respond to Him Who Is With Us?
- He Is With Us! How can we not worship Him, Who is worthy of all our adoration, praise and exaltation? What an honor, that we are able to worship Him, the Creator of the Universe, the King of kings and LORD of lords, His Majesty! Let us worship Him in everything and every way, with all that is within us. What a great privilege, to worship Him Who Is With Us! “For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. 5 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens. 6 Splendor and majesty are before Him, strength and beauty are in His sanctuary,” [Psalm 96:4-6].
- He Is With Us! Should not the realization of His presence, every moment, move us to pursue holiness? “Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You can not look on wickedness with favor,” [Habakkuk 1:13]. Because of the blood sacrifice of Jesus, our sin has been covered and we have been granted access to His holy presence, “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,” [Hebrews 10”19]. Let us be careful not to take this access for granted and let us be diligent to follow Paul’s advice, “and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God,” [Romans 6:13].
- He Is With Us! Why should we fear or worry? “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” [Romans 8:31-32]. When we are in distress; facing the enemy; in need of His transforming power and purpose; when we lack assurance, understanding or comfort; whatever our need, let us find strength as we look to Him in faith. After all, He Is With Us; what more do we need? “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever,” [Psalm 73:25-26].
- He Is With Us! As we reflect, and truly consider this most amazing truth, how can we not overflow with gratitude! We may feel unable to express our gratitude with mere words, for His Presence is truly indescribable! “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” [2 Corinthians 9:15]. And truth be told, mere words are not enough to convey gratitude. Let our whole heart and life be an offering of thanksgiving and gratitude, for He Is With Us! “I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, and will glorify Your name forever,” [Psalm 86:2].
He Is With Us! Wherever we have gone, wherever we are, wherever we will go, for He is “the same yesterday, today and forever,” [Hebrews 13:8].
Let’s Grow Together!