There are a number of potential reasons why Jacob chose to stop for the night where he did. Whatever his reasons, we do know that it wasn’t because he thought the location was special. He had no idea that he would encounter God, or better yet, that God would “encounter” him, in such a powerful way there.
What was rather ordinary became extraordinary—an awesome place, the house of God, the gate of heaven (v. 17). So, with nothing to sacrifice to God in worship, Jacob took the stone that had been near his head, set it up as a marker, and poured oil on it. He named the place Bethel, which means “house of God.”
It is easy for us to focus on Jacob’s flaws—he had a number of them! But we cannot miss his spiritual sensitivity in this moment. He encountered God and responded appropriately in worship. How about us? How often have we missed God at work in our lives because we have been too busy, too distracted, or too blinded to Him? May we have the spiritual sensitivity to see God at work in the moment!
How has God been at work in your life recently? How has He grown you, blessed you, and used you?