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With New Testament Eyes: 7 - Bethel - The House of God

By Henry Mahan


      Genesis 28:10-22

      Blessed is the man who can read the Scriptures and find the key of knowledge--Christ Jesus! 'Had you believed Moses, you would believe me, for Moses wrote of me,' said the Lord Jesus (John 5:46). God spoke to these Old Testament believers by the prophets, by pictures and types, and by dreams and visions to reveal his redemptive purpose and grace through Christ Jesus.

      Jacob is a man difficult to understand, but the one thing we know about this man is that he was one of God's elect and 'God loved him' (Gen. 25:21-23; Rom. 9:10-13; Gen. 35:9-13).

      1. His name means supplanter, which is to take the place of another through force or plotting (Gen. 27:35- 36).

      2. He tricked his brother, Esau, into selling him the birthright (Gen. 25: 29-34).

      3. Through his mother's influence and help, he deceived his father, Isaac, into giving him the blessing reserved for the first-born (Gen. 27:19-24).

      4. He had to flee from his father's house and from the wrath of his brother (Gen. 27:41-44).

      5. God met Jacob on his flight from Esau; and what a night that was as God spoke to Jacob, promised his presence and mercies, and revealed to Jacob the way to God--Christ Jesus!

      vv. 10-11. There is one reason why Jacob is out here in the desert alone, away from his home and family, and fleeing for his life; and that is his sin. What we are (proud, covetous, lonely, unhappy, depressed) and where we are (away from God, under the curse of the law, without strength, help, or hope) is because of our sins. 'Your sins have separated you and your God.' How undeserving and unworthy is Jacob and all of us Jacobs. As David said, 'God is just in condemning us and clear when he judges us' (Psalm 51:3-4). Every man who is an object of God's love and grace judges himself, stops his mouth, and justifies God in his righteous judgments against our sins.

      vv. 12-14. The Lord revealed his mercies to Jacob in a dream. What a blessed time it is when the Lord is pleased in his grace to speak to us on our road to destruction and reveal his mercies in Christ Jesus to the chief of sinners (Eph. 2:1-7; Rom. 5:6-8).

      Jacob, the sinner, was still and quiet: and God spoke, revealing Christ in the dream.

      The ladder stood upon the earth, but the top reached to heaven. So Christ Jesus, although he stood on the earth in the flesh, yet he is the Most High God, who never left the bosom of the Father (Phil. 2:6-8; John 1:14).

      The angels went up and down on the ladder, which declares to us that we are able to ascend to God only in and by Christ Jesus (John 14:6) ; and it is by and through Christ that God comes to us. 'God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.'

      The Lord God stood above the ladder and made all of his rich promises to Jacob; so God in Christ and through Christ makes all the promises of spiritual blessings, eternal life, and glory to us (Eph. 1:3-7.).

      v. 15. What God spoke to Jacob in this verse is his promise to all believers in Christ Jesus.

      'I am with thee' in covenant mercies, in redemptive grace, and in constant indwelling love (Rom. 8:28-39).

      'I will keep thee.' None whom God has chosen, for whom Christ died, and who are brought by the Spirit to believe shall ever perish (John 6:37-45; John 10:24-30).

      'I will bring thee into this land.' Canaan is but a type of heaven. Christ, our surety, will bring to glory all of his sheep. In heaven there will be plenty of room but no vacancies. Every place prepared will be occupied by those for whom it is prepared (John 14:1-3).

      'I will not leave thee until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. ' Our Lord shall not fail. The pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand (Isa. 53:10- 11).

      vv. 16-19. Jacob called the place 'Bethel,' house of God and gate of heaven. This cannot be church buildings, which men call the house of God. This can only be where God actually dwells.

      The house of God is where God is, where God dwells, and where God reveals himself. The gate of heaven is the door; and Christ said, 'I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved.'

      vv. 20-22. Jacob responded to God's call, to God's revelation, as all of his called ones respond. 'Thy people shall be willing' (Psalm 110:3). Christ said, 'Other sheep I have, them I must bring and they shall hear my voice, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd' (John 10:16). The people of God are not saved against their wills but are made willing (2 Thess. 2:13).

      No man can, is able, or has the desire to come to Christ except he is taught of God, called of God, and has learned of God; but those who are called, taught, and drawn to Christ shall come (John 6:44-45).

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See Also:
   Foreward & Acknowledgements
   1 - The Fall
   2 - Abel's Offering
   3 - The Ark Of Noah
   4 - Sarah and Hagar; Law and Grace
   5 - The Lord Will Provide
   6 - A Bride for the Heir
   7 - Bethel - The House of God
   8 - Peniel - The Face of God
   9 - Joseph Opens the Storehouses
   10 - Joseph and His Brothers
   11 - Shiloh
   12 - The Passover
   13 - The Manna
   14 - Water from the rock
   15 - The Blood Before the Lord
   16 - The Ram of Consecration
   17 - The Day of Atonement
   18 - Caleb - The Faithful Dog
   19 - The High Priest Intercedes
   20 - The Brazen Serpent
   21 - A Prophet Like Moses
   22 - The Cities of Refuge
   23 - Joshua
   24 - The Scarlet Line in the Window
   25 - The birth of Samson
   26 - The Kinsman Redeemer
   27 - The Song of Hannah
   28 - Give us a King
   29 - Saul's Great Sin
   30 - David and Mephibosheth
   31 - Why God Permitted David to Fall
   32 - Comfort from God's Covenant
   33 - I Will Not Offer to God that which Cost me Nothing
   34 - The Queen of Sheba Comes to Solomon
   35 - Three Examples of Faith
   36 - Where is the Lord God of Elijah?
   37 - Empty Vessels Filled
   38 - Naaman, the Leper
   39 - Open his Eyes that He may See
   40 - Four Lepers Teach us a Lesson
   41 - Nehushtan--A Piece of Brass
   42 - Bringing Back the Ark
   43 - Uzziah's Great Transgression
   44 - Four Things Learned in Trouble
   45 - How Can Man be Just With God?
   46 - Three Vital Questions
   47 - I Know that my Redeemer Liveth
   48 - Now Mine Eye Seeth Thee
   49 - The Psalm of Messiah the King
   50 - God's two great books
   51 - The Psalm of the Cross
   52 - The Lord is my Shepherd
   53 - True God - True Israel - True Redeemer
   54 - Eight Great Precepts
   55 - My Hope is in Thee
   56 - Many, O Lord, Are Thy Wonderful Works
   57 - A Song of Love
   58 - The Sinner's Prayer
   59 - My Rock and my Salvation
   60 - Our Lord's Sufferings for Our Sins
   61 - Mercy and Truth are Met Together
   62 - The Victory of the Messiah
   63 - Bless the Lord, O my Soul
   64 - Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So
   65 - The King-Priest
   66 - The Chief Cornerstone
   67 - The Observer and the Observed
   68 - Praise the Lord O my Soul
   69 - Wisdom in Christ
   70 - The Conclusion of the Whole Matter
   71 - Remember Now Thy Creator
   72 - My Beloved is Mine and I am His
   73 - What is Thy Beloved more than Another Beloved?
   74 - The Lord Our Righteousness
   75 - The Believers Hope
   76 - From Nothing to Everything
   77 - Lost, Driven Away, Broken, Sick
   78 - Can These Bones Live?
   79 - Four Things God Taught Nebuchadnezzar
   80 - Thy God Will Deliver Thee
   81 - Hosea--Type of Christ
   82 - A Famine to be Feared
   83 - Salvation is of the Lord
   84 - A Fountain Opened for Mourners
   85 - The Messenger of the Covenant

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