The time has come. Everything has been built to specs and the work of the tabernacle is about to begin. Now is one of my favorite times. It’s anointing time! I don’t know why, but i always find this so exciting. It is the dedication of the work for service. It is a time of change and of new work with YHWH.
He is an amazing God, and He works through us, His people. Even though He is the AWEsome, overpowering, holy, creator of the universe; He works in us, but he doesn’t consume us and our personality in the process. In fact, not only does His personality not overpower us; who He is actually strengthens our personality and makes us each more unique and distinctive than we were before.
As a result, when a new work is being done and a new anointing comes, it changes who we are and how we worship HIM! YHWH never changes, yet He is new every morning! His work and ways continually change, but He never does. I think that that is part of why i find this anointing process so exciting. Things are about to change. A man and his sons are about to find their purpose and destiny. YHWH is working anew, and this…THIS is a turning point!
I think we should celebrate turning points more often. I don’t think that we do it like we used to. The turning point from child to adult (rite of passage) has been lost. The celebrations of new roles and purposes has gone to the wayside. This change in life. This change in anointing should be something we embrace and become excited about. It should help to define, and redefine who we are.
Aaron and his sons are about to embark on a whole new journey. They are being anointed by YHWH for His work and purpose! Everything is beginning to change!
Jacob is sent away to marry from Rebekah’s family. He is given a proper blessing by his father, and instructed not to marry from the Canaanites around him. I remember in Sunday School always being taught that Esau heard about this and ran off to marry a Canaanite woman to spite his father and mother. I have also brought that presupposition into my previous readings; so i didn’t pay that much attention.
However, that doesn’t really seem to be the case. The passage says, “So Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan displeased his father Isaac; and Esau went to Ishmael and married” (NASB). So Esau did not turn away, he simply attempted to fulfill his father’s wishes the only way he reasonably knew how. He did not marry from the Canaanites, he married from his uncle Ishmael, just as Jacob was sent to marry from his uncle Laban. It’s not hugely significant, but it’s one of the things that i have never really caught in the many times that i was just reading the passage through.
This chapter contains some interesting theological situations. For instance, what is described here is a ladder or staircase from earth to heaven. It is a connection point: a point at which heaven and earth almost touch each other. It’s a point at which those in heaven have access to earth and those on earth have access to heaven. Being a dream, I don’t know the extent to which this “stairway to heaven” is literal or figurative, but it does give you reason to pause and wonder how this occurs and how many other of these “stairways” might exist throughout the world. I also don’t know how important this “stairway to heaven” is overall, but it is a unique feature of this chapter.
What IS more important though, is Jacob’s reaction to the situation. Instead of ignoring the “dream”, or running away, or trying to rationalize it away, he comes to realization. He was amazed, and he was afraid, and he was in awe of the situation and where he was; “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” Beautiful isn’t it? So Jacob turns around, sets up his pillow-rock as a pillar, pours oil over it, and calls the place Bethel or House of God. Then he makes a vow to God that if He will be with him and take care of him, then Jacob will give a tithe (tenth) to God.
What is our reaction to God when He does something amazing? What do we do when He shows up? Do we run away, or try to ignore it, or rationalize it away, or try to justify ourselves; or do we fall in awe and wonder? Do we, trembling, acknowledge God and make His truth a reality in our lives? Do we pursue that God that we have had a personal experience with? Do we take God’s truth into our very being and let it change who we are as a person? Our reaction tells us who we really are.
John J. Camiolo Jr.