“From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the Lord.” – Genesis 13: 3-4
What do you do when you’ve messed up? At work, you might go back to the drawing board and start from the beginning. Did you miscalculate or overlook some detail? When a relationship has been bruised and trust has been broken, you might go back to that person looking for a fresh start. What about in your spiritual journey? What do you do when you fall short, stumble, or fail? We need to go back to our spiritual roots, back to the beginning.
Abraham understood this. Feeling the effects of a devastating drought in the region, Abraham moved his family to Egypt. But out of fear, he conspired with his wife, Sarah, for her to pretend to be his sister. Abraham feared that Pharaoh would have him killed to be with Sarah. Well, that little lie caused chaos to break loose as Pharaoh decided to make Sarah his wife. Luckily, God intervened. You see, God’s plan was to bring about a great nation through Abraham and Sarah. In spite of Abraham’s lack of faith, and his fear – God stepped in and put them back on track.
So, here was Abraham having failed big time in his faith. Not only did God have to bail him out, but he was publicly humiliated and embarrassed by a pagan king. Is there any recovery from this bad judgment call? What did he do? He went back to his spiritual roots, to Bethel, the place where he had worshiped the Lord – back to the beginning of his faith journey.
When is the last time a crisis overwhelmed you with fear? In spite of God’s past faithfulness, did you decide to take matters into your own hands? What was the outcome?
The good news in Abraham’s failure is God’s redemption. The same redemption is offered to us, no matter the magnitude of our mistakes. So, when you fail in your walk with God, where do you go? What is your Bethel – where are your spiritual roots? Confess your sin to God and ask Him to forgive you. I promise He will. And like Abraham, you’ll discover what it’s like to have your relationship with God restored.