I am remembering how I love the Old Testament. Sections that seem so dusty and old suddenly come alive with the ways God moved among His people. As Jacob continues through the book of Genesis he has moments which show his deep heart for the God he follows.
Genesis 35 is no different. Jacob has just finished wrestling with the angel in chapter 32:22-32. He is no longer the same, he will limp for the rest of his life. But the limp is a reminder of his tenacity with God. In chapter 35 he shows his devotion. When Jacob was leaving Laban he crossed paths with his brother Esau, whom he had cheated out of the inheritance.
God protected Jacob during that time and now it was time for Jacob to create an altar in remembrance of God’s protection. Jacob built the altar on Beth-el, a tangible way to remember all that God had done.
But it wasn’t really about the altar, it was about the God he was recognizing. The El-beth-el the God he follows.
When we go to church on the weekends we can have a tendency to celebrate the building we are entering. The ministries and services our church may offer. We find ourselves celebrating the building “church” instead of the body of the Church. And the very God who created it.
As Jim Elliot said, “Lord, I want to be centering my interest on Thee, the God of the God’s house.”
The God of the God’s house.
What do we focus on in our lives? I know that sometimes I can focus on the churches I have attended, some are known by name all over the country. Some are only known in the towns where they are located. But is it about the name of the church? The name of the pastor? The worship leader?
Or is it about the God of the God’s house, the God of the Church?
What is our focus?
O Best Beloved, let us remember to fix our eyes on the God we claim to follow and not the building in which we meet.
May our eyes be ever fixed, focused on the God we love.