His Name is El Bethel

“I am the God of Bethel.” Genesis 31:13

Jacob had an encounter with God as he was fleeing from his brother Esau (Genesis 28:10-22). Esau was in pursuit of Jacob because Jacob had deceptively stolen Esau’s birthright and blessing. During this encounter, God spoke to Jacob in a dream, promising to multiply his descendants and to bless all families of the world through his seed (Jesus). God said to Jacob, “I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land.” Jacob woke from his dream, and realizing he had encountered God, called the name of the place “Bethel,” meaning “house of God” or “dwelling place of God.”

Jacob fled to his Uncle Laban’s house. Jacob served Laban for at least twenty years. After that time, God appeared to Jacob a second time in a dream (Genesis 31:1-13). God referred to Himself as El Bethel, or “God of the House of God.” It was a reminder of the promise God had given Jacob previously at the place Jacob named Bethel. God told Jacob it was time to return to his family.

On the way back home, Jacob had to confront his past and the brother he had wronged. Jacob asked the Lord for favor, knowing he was in danger of losing his life, his family, and all he had. The Angel of the Lord appeared to Jacob, and Jacob wrestled with Him all through the night, refusing to let Him go until he agreed to bless him. The Lord agreed to grant favor to Jacob because of his persistence. God changed Jacob’s name to Israel, meaning “a mighty one that prevails, contends with, or perseveres to be a leader or prince” because Jacob would not let go of the Angel of the Lord until he received a blessing. As Jacob moved forward, he found that Esau had forgiven him. God restored the relationship, and Jacob was released to return home and be restored to the promise.

Jacob had experienced God’s manifested presence. As a result, Jacob received the promise God had given to him. God helped Jacob so that his past wrongs were forgiven, and he was able to go back home again. Miracles took place that eventually led to the birth of our Redeemer and fulfillment of the promise.

God gives the promise. To have a promise fulfilled, get into the presence of God. From God’s presence, you can pray fervently, prevail over circumstances, and take authority over the enemy.

Application: To experience the manifested presence of God, pursue Him in worship, prayer, and meditation. When you seek Him, you find Him.

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