And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.
Pledge Your Allegiance
Many professional athletes proudly wear the corporate logo or company colors of those who sponsor them. They have no qualms at all in identifying themselves with the products and purposes of those who finance their careers.
When Abraham pitched his tents near Bethel, he boldly identified himself with the Lord. God not only called him to leave family and all that was familiar, but also provided for his needs along the way. In response, Abraham built an altar to God. This was not only an act of worship but also a public declaration to everyone who saw it that he was a worshiper of Yahweh. Furthermore, he "called on the name of the Lord"--that is, he publicly acknowledged his commitment to and need for the God of Israel.
As Christians, we are to boldly identify ourselves with the Lord as well. Be prepared. This may cost you the friendship of those who prefer the praises of the world. It may mean that you will experience ridicule and rejection. But Jesus reminds us, "Whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God" (Luke 12:8-9).
Make your allegiance known. Wherever you may be, with whomever you may be, refuse to hide your commitment to the One who loves you and provides for your salvation. Jesus suffered the shame of the cross for you; be willing to suffer the ridicule of the world for Him.
There's no place in God's service for secret agents.