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God’s goodness is what frees Jacob to lay down his life once again.

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14 And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he had spoken with him, a pillar of stone. He poured out a drink offering on it and poured oil on it. 15 So Jacob called the name of the place where God had spoken with him Bethel. – Genesis 35:14-15

Jacob returns to the place where he can hear God’s voice again. This time, he’s ready to receive his new name – “Israel” and re-establish the town name – “Bethel.” In that place, Jacob hears and receives God’s spoken word, and as a result, he decides to set up a pillar of remembrance to offer his worship back to God. He begins by gathering stones and carefully positioning them one upon the other. Then, he takes out his most valuable liquids and begins to pour them out until the stone pillar becomes drenched with his sacrifice.

For Jacob, hearing and receiving God’s spoken word becomes a catalyst to renew his devotion to God. Jacob builds his altar of stones in a place where he hears God’s voice. The pillar Jacob builds is in remembrance of the promises God has given – the things he’s heard God speak. His pillar isn’t a declaration of how faithful he’s been or how determined he’ll be. It’s a remembrance of how good God has been to him. God’s goodness is what frees Jacob to lay down his life once again.

We, too, have those places where we most clearly hear the voice of God. 2 Peter reminds us of the voice of God – both in the person of Jesus and in the words of Scripture. Today, we have the privilege of opening up God’s word to hear his voice anytime we want; and we’re invited to receive and dwell in the lavish promises and faithfulness of God. Read 2 Peter 1:16-21 as a reminder of your accessibility to God’s spoken word. Then write down one promise from God’s word you need to receive today.


The Lord is not slow about His promise,
as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,
not wishing for any to perish
but for all to come to repentance.
— 2 Peter 3:9 NASB

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By Yvonne Biel 

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