March 05, 2019


Genesis 28:10-22

Early the next morning Jacob took the stone ... and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it.

—  Genesis 28:18

Apparently people aren’t the only things that can be anointed. In this story Jacob anointed a stone with oil.

Jacob had left his family home in Beersheba. He stopped to rest for the night and dreamt of a stairway reaching from earth to heaven. Angels were ascending and descending on it. In the morning Jacob realized that God had been speaking to him. He named the place Bethel, which means “house of God.”

Jacob anointed the stone he had used for a pillow—to consecrate it as a symbol of his meeting with God. We see something similar done in the Tent of Meeting, where God met with his people many years later (Exodus 30:22-31). A sacred anointing oil was used to consecrate the ark of the covenant, the lampstands, the altar of incense, and the priests. This oil was special and not to be used for anything else. Anointing oil was used to consecrate—to set apart, to make holy.

One of my favorite hymns begins with the words “Take my life and let it be, consecrated, Lord, to thee.” Our life ought to be totally surrendered to Jesus Christ. We are consecrated as followers of Jesus to let our life flow in ceaseless praise to him.

In what ways can you live out your calling to be consecrated to the Lord today?

Lord, my life is not always fully surrendered to you. I am reminded of my holy anointing before you. Purify my heart, mind, and soul to be devoted to you. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Pete Byma

Pete Byma has served as a pastor of congregations in Michigan and in Washington state. Serving now as a pastor in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he is also a consultant/coach for churches experiencing conflict, and he enjoys equipping and establishing people in ministry. He is married to Cheri, and they have four grown children and six grandchildren. Pete is also a registered soccer official and enjoys bicycling.

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