18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God 22 and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.”
Just the night before, Jacob had an intimate and powerful encounter with the God of the universe. The weight of this glorious interaction is still on him the next morning. So he decides to mark that moment and that place as a turning point in his life, from this point forward he desires to worship God alone.
God had already promised to be with Abraham and his descendants forever, God renewed that promise to Abraham’s son Isaac. Now the next generation had to make their choices. Abraham’s two grandchildren have taken different paths, Esau is deliberately disobeying Isaac in spite of him. Here, by grace, Jacob is responding to God with faith, little faith, but faith nonetheless. He tithes, just as Abraham did, and he commits to following the Lord.
Lord, every generation must make their own choice, to trust you or not. You are faithful and your promises never fail. Teach me to play my part, to let others play theirs. Help me to instruct, but teach me that I cannot control, it is yours to reveal yourself and it is the choice of others in how they respond. Teach me to be accountable for my response to you.
Written by Andrew Mellor