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Back To Bethel

"And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai; Unto the place of the altar, which he had make there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD." (Genesis 13:3-4)

Before Abraham journeyed into Egypt, he had built an altar to the Lord between Bethel and Ai (Genesis 12:8). There he called upon the name of the Lord. During his sojourn in Egypt, we are not told that Abraham called upon the name of the Lord. Abraham was out of fellowship with God during his days in Egypt.

After his humiliating expulsion out of the land of Egypt, what is the first thing that Abraham did? He went back to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning. Back to the place of the altar, which he had made there at first. And there he called upon the name of the Lord.

“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works…” (Revelation 2:4-5a)

Whenever we come to the realization that we are out of the will of God, the only sensible thing that we can do is return to the place of calling. The only direction to go is back to the place where we were in fellowship with the Lord. I wonder if the famine that had compelled him to leave, the famine that was upon the entire land of Canaan, had even subsided yet when Abraham returned. Regardless, he had been in a place where his soul was starving for the presence of God in his life, would living in want for physical food be less bearable than this (Job 23:12)?

Whatever conditions we found intolerable in the place of our calling, whatever lure we pursued when we stepped away, tend to be greatly diminished in our own eyes when we become aware of the price that we have paid in departing from fellowship with the Lord. It is at those times that the only thing that we can do is return to whence we came.

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4 responses

  1. I read this through twice and pondered it especially your last paragraph. It is so true that “it is at those times that the only thing we can do is return to whence we came.” Whenever we strike out on our own, things will get messed up but for some reason, we continue to do it.

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  2. Loren,

    There are quite a few places throughout God’s word where we are told to remember….. It’s so easy for us to get distracted in this world and forget our first love, the power of God to save, and how our lives do need to be changed.

    Thank you for this good reminder.

    Margaret

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  3. Very well put, thank you, Margaret.

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