Our Bible Class. Bethel and Its Teachings - 2

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 12
(Genesis 29, 30, 31, 32)
“God setteth the solitary in families: He bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.” —Psalm 68:66God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land. (Psalm 68:6).
BEFORE passing on to this month’s subject, which is a large one, we shall have to touch briefly a few points in the answer to Question I. (July No. of “SPRINGING WELL”). “Name the country referred to as the ‘land of promise’ in our motto-text. Give as many other names as you can by which the same country is or has been called.” Only one of the papers received furnishes a really good answer to the above question, but Cousin Edith is sure that those who have tried but failed to answer the question fully will be glad of a little help on the subject, which is really an interesting one, though at first sight it may appear a little difficult.
Canaan is the country referred to in Hebrews 11:88By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. (Hebrews 11:8). It is also called “The land of the Hebrews” (Gen. 11:1818And Peleg lived thirty years, and begat Reu: (Genesis 11:18)); “The land of Israel” (1 Sam. 13:99And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. (1 Samuel 13:9)): “Philistia” (Ps. 60:8): “The land of Judah” (Is. 19:17): “Palestine” (Joel 3:44Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head; (Joel 3:4)): “The Lord’s land” (Hosea 9:33They shall not dwell in the Lord's land; but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean things in Assyria. (Hosea 9:3)): “The holy land” (Zech. 2:1212And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. (Zechariah 2:12)). “A land flowing with milk and honey,” though descriptive of the country, can hardly have been considered one of its names, while “Jerusalem” applied to a city that must ever have been a spot of the deepest interest to every godly Jew. “A land not inhabited” referred to some lonely or desert place, not to the whole country. How could it when we remember the nations that had to be driven out before Israel could possess the land?
The good hand of the God who had said to Abraham, “Get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee” (Gen. 12:11Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee: (Genesis 12:1)), was over his grandson Jacob as he journeyed from Bethel to Haram. For perhaps the first time in his life, he had had to do with God, and a sense of his unfitness for His holy presence had surely forced him to exclaim, “How dreadful is this place” (Gen. 28:1717And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. (Genesis 28:17)): and though there seems to have been more of unbelief than faith in Jacob’s vow, still he was marked out by a giving God for blessing; and though it took him a long life to learn the lesson that God, not himself, was to be trusted, it is beautiful to see him at the close of his life, a way-worn pilgrim, the strength of manhood gone, leaning upon his staff, as he blessed “the sons of Joseph, and worshipped.”