Are you going up to Beth-El (the House of El)?

The Temple Mount or the House of El (Hebrew: Beth-El), and the likely spot where the Temple of Solomon stood, and the possible site of the actual holy of holies.

Genesis 35:1–15, Go up to Bethel. Jacob, twenty years earlier, had left Canaan in disgrace fleeing eastward into exile (as his descendants would do generations later), where in captivity to Laban he pays the price for being a deceiver.

In captivity, Jacob prospers and finally is able to return to the Promised Land.

En route westward back to Canaan, he goes through a wilderness experience, as the children of his namesake would do several generations later.

What type of individuals does YHVH not permit and permit to enter into the Land of Promise? The answers are in Hebrews 4:1–11 where the writer speaks of doubt and unbelief, faith, hardness of heart versus resting in YHVH and not in the works of our flesh. (Read it.)

To come home, like the prodigal son, to the home of his earthly parents and to that of his Heavenly Father (Beth-el or House of El) what was required of Jacob? He had to manifest brokenness, humility, a new identity, repentance, and make restitution for past sins committed against others (Gen 34).

Will YHVH similarly break our stiff necks, refine and purify us to become suitable for the Master’s use in his spiritual house? Are you fighting the process that YHVH is working in your life to prepare you for your spiritual Bethel?

Jacob got hit again and again until his carnal will was finally broken, his heart was circumcised and he died to the willfulness of his flesh and scheming to bring YHVH’s will to pass in his life. (Have other notable personages of Scripture tried the same things and had their will broken before they were useful to YHVH? Remember Moses when he murdered the Egyptian? What did YHVH do with him for 40 years?)

Remember, neither the uncircumcised in heart nor flesh will enter into the spiritual house of Elohim (Ezek 44:9), which is the ultimate Promised Land.

Where are you in this spiritual process?

The Promised Land belongs to those (i.e. the seed of Jacob) who pass the wilderness tests of YHVH (Gen 35:12).

Who is that seed? (Read Rom 4:16; 9:8, 11; Gal 3:7, 9, 14, 28, 29.)

Are we not following exactly in our father Jacob’s footsteps leaving our exile and captivity in Babylon (false religious systems, which contains a mixture of both good and evil, see Rev 18:4), returning westward across the Jordan into the land of Promise, to our spiritual inheritance, to the ancient and good paths of the Torah faith (Jer 6:16, 19), which is defined in terms of YHVH’s covenants with Israel (Eph 2:12–14)? Is not YHVH calling out a growing remnant of believers in Yeshua to do just that in our time? Do you see that Jacob’s life is a prophetic road map of what each individual believer must go through to obtain his spiritual inheritance? His life is a prophetic picture of what all Israel, collectively, must go through, as well.

 

Coming Before Elohim

Genesis 35:2, Foreign gods. Heb. teraphim. (See notes at Gen 31:19.) The necessary prerequisites to coming up to Bethel (Heb. the house of El/God) included: the putting away of the pagan idols that were among Jacob’s family members, purifying or cleansing oneself (physically and ceremonially), and changing into clean clothing (v. 2), removing jewelry with any pagan connotations (v. 4).

Bethel, according to the Jewish sages, was where the Temple of Solomon was eventually built (i.e., the Temple Mount).

Because of this act of consecration, “the terror/fear of Elohim” came upon the Canaanite inhabitants of surrounding region (v. 5).

What is the lesson here? There are two. When coming into the presence of Elohim, we would be prudent to consecrate ourselves, for Elohim is in heaven, and we are on earth; therefore, let us be careful not to offer up the sacrifice of fools (see Eccl 5:1–2). And then, let us walk righteously and cleanly before Elohim, devoid of all pagan appearances and practices, and uncleanliness of all kind, including coming before him unbathed and wearing dirty clothing.

 

 

Where Is The Terror of Elohim Upon Those Around Us?

Genesis 31:19, Household idols. Heb. teraphim, from rapha meaning “to heal, make healthful.” The ancient pagans viewed these idols superstitiously as good luck charms for good health and prosperity.

But there is more. In ancient Babylon, each family had a shrine where it worshipped its household gods, which were in the shape of clay figurines. These family gods served as guardian angels of the home, and would be left to the eldest son, who, acting as the family high priest, would perpetuate the family’s idol worship after the father’s death. The theft of these household idols left Laban in a very agitated state in that he was willing to pursue Jacob to retrieve them, by force, if necessary. The reason is that these gods conferred the right of primogeniture (to the firstborn son), and acted as a title deed to the father’s inheritance. Thus, Rachel must have stolen her brother’s inheritance thereby making Jacob the legal heir of Laban’s estate (Manners and Customs of Bible Lands, pp. 119–120, by Fred H. Wight; TWOT, p. 980).

Genesis 35:2, Foreign gods. Heb. teraphim. The necessary prerequisites to coming up to Bethel (Heb. the house of El/God) included: the putting away of the pagan idols that were among Jacob’s family members, removing jewelry with any pagan connotations (v. 5), purifying or cleansing oneself (physically and ceremonially), and changing into clean clothing.

Bethel, according to the Jewish sages, was where the Temple of Solomon was eventually built (i.e., the Temple Mount).

Because of this act of consecration, “the terror/fear of Elohim” came upon the Canaanite inhabitants of the surrounding region (v. 5).

What is the lesson here? There are two. When coming into the presence of Elohim, we would be prudent to consecrate ourselves, for Elohim is in heaven, and we are on earth; therefore, let us be careful not to offer up the sacrifice of fools (see Eccl 5:1–2).

And then, let us walk righteously and cleanly before Elohim, devoid of all pagan appearances and practices, and uncleanliness of all kind, including coming before him unbathed and wearing dirty clothing.

Friends, let me be frank. Our society has a dim view of church, Christians and Bible believers for many reasons. There is little or no fear of Elohim in our culture. Currently, Islam is on the rise. In general, there is both a fear of and respect for this religion. Where have we as Bible believers missed it in that the fear of Elohim does not go before us and come upon those around us?