The second result of Bethel is Sorrow. Now that Jacob has sacrificed and worshipped God, you could say that there will no longer be any problems, right? Wrong. “Then they journeyed from Bethel. When they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel went into labor, and she had hard labor” (Gen. 35:16, ESV). This is her second son. It was to be one of the great trials of Jacob’s faith.
Didn’t Jacob surrender his life to the Lord? Yes. Didn’t he worship the Lord? Yes. But after that, Rachel dies.
Total surrender to God is no guarantee for no sorrow in life. Pastor Andres and Mrs. Norfelly Pepito served the Lord all their lives. But Pastor Pepito lost his wife to cancer. He eventually succumbed to kidney failure. Many pastors and their families are living in poverty. Many who have served the Lord faithfully end up suffering in their old age. I will even tell you that your sacrifice for our church building is no guarantee that you will not suffer economic loss in the future.
But you need to come back to God regardless. Why—because when sorrows come, you need God close by. When the hard times come, you want to be close to Jesus.
“And when her labor was at its hardest, the midwife said to her, ‘Do not fear, for you have another son.’ And as her soul was departing (for she was dying), she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin” (Gen. 35:17-18).
Rachel dies in sorrow. She names her son, “Ben-Oni,” “son of my sorrow.”
Can you imagine growing up being called, “Ben-Oni, son of my sorrow”? But Jacob changes the name. He calls him, “Benjamin,” “son of my right hand.”