Summary: God is the vision giver, but we have to be the vision receivers!
A Rock, A Vision, and A Response
Text: Gen. 28:10-22
1. Read Gen. 28:10-22
2. Illustration: Sometimes small churches look at themselves and say, “Oh, we can’t do this and we can’t do that because we are too small. We don’t have the resources.” And their vision gets limited by their circumstances and instead of taking giant steps of faith, they take baby steps. I’m reminded of the story of a man who had done something wonderful and the king called him in and told him he could mark off as much of the kingdom as he wanted and it would be his. The man took his staff and traced a line in the dirt around himself. The king watched as he finished and said, “Is that all you want? Just what’s in that circle?” The man said, “NO. I want everything OUTSIDE the circle.” What if we drew a line around this building and said we want to claim all the territory beyond this place for God?
3. This past week, we took a giant step of faith and had a GREAT VBS! We said:
a. We’re not just a little country church!
b. We can do great things for God.
4. It’s all because we responded to God’s vision.
Proposition: God is the vision giver, but we have to be the vision receivers!
Transition: In our text today, we learn about a rock, a vision, and a response.
I. A Rock: God Reveals Himself in Times of Dispair (10-11).
A. Jacob Went Out From Beersheba
1. To set the back drop for our text, we must understand what is going on at the time.
a. Jacob had received the blessing he so desired.
b. However, because of it, he had to flee from the wrath of his brother Esau.
c. The 550 mile one way trip would have taken him at least a month (Walton, NIV Application Commentary, 570).
2. He had to leave his Father, Mother, home, and possessions.
a. He left everything he had ever known.
b. He was going to a place he had never been, to live with people he did not know.
c. And this was a blessing?
3. The text says that he came to a certain place and he "he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows..."
a. This makes the Faubus Motel look like Hilton!
b. This is limestone country, so he took one of the stones and used it for a pillow (Horton, Complete Biblical Library, 255).
c. Illustration: Last fall, we had a campout, and one of my sons friends forgot his pillow, so he decided to use a piece of firewood for a pillow. In the morning he woke up saying, "Man, does my head hurt!"
4. Jacob was in a place that looked pretty grim.
a. He had no family.
b. He had no friends.
c. He had no money.
d. His only comfort was a rock.
5. But this was a place of anointing!
a. It was a place of vision.
b. It was a place of revelation.
c. It was a place of grace.
d. It was the place that God had to take Jacob.
B. From Despair to Vision
1. When Sister Diane first spoke to me about doing a VBS she told me she really didn’t want to do it.
a. She was concerned that we wouldn’t have the resources.
b. She was concerned that we wouldn’t have enough workers.
2. However, she said that every time she said to herself "I don’t want to do this," God wouldn’t leave her alone.
a. God took her to a place of desperation.
b. But he also took her to a place of anointing, where he said step out in faith.
3. Then as a church, we all stepped out together and God met us every step of the way.
a. He provided the resources.
b. He provided a van to pick kids up (free of charge I might add).
c. Most of all, he provided you! All of you who worked on the VBS, and God used you to make it a success.
4. We all said "We’re not just a little country church, and we are going to do something great for God! We are going to make a difference!"
5. God brought us to a place of anointing.
a. A place where we could see the vision.
b. A place where we could dream the dream.
c. A place where we could see the possibilities.
Transition: He brought us from a place of despair and doubt, to a place of vision and faith.
II. A Vision: God’s Vision is Unmistakable (12-17)
A. I Am the Lord
1. As he slept, Jacob had a dream of a ladder and the angels of God ascending and descending on it.