I am the God of Bethel
I am the God of Bethel (Genesis 31:13a NIV).
God remembers His encounters with you. He also reminds you of them. Here, Jacob is reminded of Bethel. God goes one step further and says, “I am the God of Bethel.” Thus God was owning that experience of Himself that Jacob had at Bethel in a very special way. It was at Bethel that Jacob had the dream of a stairway (or ladder) with its top reaching to heaven. Angels were ascending and descending on it. Above it stood the Lord. This was the experience of Bethel. God was telling Jacob that the same God is speaking to him now.
Perhaps the message to Jacob was that, God changes not. Even though Jacob’s circumstances underwent much changes, God had not changed. When God had met Jacob at Bethel, Jacob was a deceiver. At this point in time Jacob had been deceived many times instead. But in spite of all that, God was telling Jacob that He remained the same. This is an assurance to you too. When tides change, do not get alarmed; for your God changes not.
Again, God was telling Jacob that He remembers the promise He had made. Because at Bethel God had promised great blessing to Jacob and also promised to watch over him wherever he went to bring him back to the same land. So now, God wanted Jacob to note that none of the promises made had been forgotten. So dear friend, no matter how forgetful you are, God does not forget the promise He had made to you.
Finally, God also remembers what you said and what you did in response to His revelation of Himself to you. Jacob had made a vow and also anointed a pillar there when He had recognized the God of Bethel then. These kind of acts of worship are reminders that God uses to remind you of the reality of the vows you had made. Otherwise you will forget what you had said to God.
At Bethel, Jacob in essence had said that He will cling to God and the place Bethel will be God’s house and he will give a tenth to God; if God would watch over him and bring him back to the land. Now God was telling Jacob, “It’s time!” It was time to move and go back to his land. And fulfill his vows too. The God of Bethel reminds you too that it is time to fulfill your vows to Him, for He is going to take you back to the land of promise!