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Death is the hardest thing we have to face as humans. I don’t know how Jacob coped without knowing the promise that Jesus Christ has brought to us.

Jacob Returns to Bethel 1 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau.” 2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. 3 Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone.” 4 So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem. 5 Then they set out, and the terror of God fell on the towns all around them so that no one pursued them. 6 Jacob and all the people with him came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan. 7 There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel,[a] because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother. 8 Now Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried under the oak outside Bethel. So it was named Allon Bakuth.[b] 9 After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram,[c] God appeared to him again and blessed him. 10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob,[d] but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.[e]” So he named him Israel. 11 And God said to him, “I am God Almighty[f]; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will be among your descendants. 12 The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.” 13 Then God went up from him at the place where he had talked with him. 14 Jacob set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him, and he poured out a drink offering on it; he also poured oil on it. 15 Jacob called the place where God had talked with him Bethel.[g]
The Deaths of Rachel and Isaac 16 Then they moved on from Bethel. While they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel began to give birth and had great difficulty. 17 And as she was having great difficulty in childbirth, the midwife said to her, “Don’t despair, for you have another son.” 18 As she breathed her last—for she was dying—she named her son Ben-Oni.[h] But his father named him Benjamin.[i] 19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 20 Over her tomb Jacob set up a pillar, and to this day that pillar marks Rachel’s tomb. 21 Israel moved on again and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder. 22 While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard of it.   Jacob had twelve sons: 23 The sons of Leah:   Reuben the firstborn of Jacob,   Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun. 24 The sons of Rachel:   Joseph and Benjamin. 25 The sons of Rachel’s servant Bilhah:   Dan and Naphtali. 26 The sons of Leah’s servant Zilpah:   Gad and Asher.   These were the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Paddan Aram. 27 Jacob came home to his father Isaac in Mamre, near Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed. 28 Isaac lived a hundred and eighty years. 29 Then he breathed his last and died and was gathered by his people.

    God is again at work in Jacob’s life. He or She comes to Jacob and tells him to start a home in Bethel where Jacob is to build an alter for him or her. Before leaving Jacob takes action to purify his house spiritually. He tells his family to get rid of all their flashy jewelry and iconic imagery. They make their passage safely because God put fear into the hearts of those who might want to retaliate against Jacob’s sons for their previous slaughter.
    When they arrive in Luz (the Canaanite name for Bethel) Jacob makes an alter to the Lord and names it what loosely translates into “The God of the house of God”. There Rebekah’s nurse dies and is buried under a tree. That is not the only death Jacob faces. During the birth of her last son Rebekah dies. Issac also dies at a ripe old age. Losing these people closest to him makes Jacob inconsolable.
    Death is the hardest thing we have to face as humans. I don’t know how Jacob coped without knowing the promise that Jesus Christ has brought to us. The most difficult loss I have faced in my life is the death of my dog, Tucker. He was my best friend and familiar. I wrote previously on the trials of struggling with a disease that made me pull out my own hair. Tucker was with me through that and much more. The only thing that got me by when I lost him was the knowledge that I will see him again in the afterlife. All dogs go to heaven.

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