Summary: LENT 2(B) - Our Lord’s promise and our Lord’s blessings is that Believers never travel alone.
BELIEVERS NEVER TRAVEL ALONE (Outline)
GENESIS 28:10-17 - February 20, 2005 - LENT 2
INTRO: Our society is a very mobile society. We travel a lot – both locally and globally. Often we put on many more miles in one day than the people of the Bible would be able to travel in a couple of months. In recent times travel has changed. There is a raised awareness and alert because of terrorism. Some-times this heightened security may cause us concern. We might wonder how safe we are. Traveling alone we may even feel alone. Today’s text vividly reminds us that as believers we never travel alone. Israel was ready to enter the Promised Land and Moses was about to die. Joshua would be the next leader of this large nation (more than one million people). Joshua did not know if he was up to such a daunting task. Moses reminded Joshua that he was not alone, nor should he try to lead as if he was alone. "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified...for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you" (DEUTERONOMY 31:6). As we look at the example of Jacob in our text God’s word clearly reveals: BELIEVERS NEVER TRAVEL ALONE. I. This is our Lord’s prom-ise and II. This is our Lord’s blessing.
I. THIS IS OUR LORD’S PROMISE
A. We will want to remember what happened before our verses that caused Jacob to leave.
1. Jacob had an older brother, Esau. Jacob deceived his father, Isaac, in getting Esau’s blessing.
2. Esau was angry enough to kill Jacob. Rebekah sent Jacob to her relatives to the north.
B. In verse 10 Jacob leaves by himself. He is going to travel and would feel alone. But not for long.
1. Verse 11. Jacob stops for the night. His pillow is a stone. He left with only his staff.
2. Verse 12. Jacob dreams of the angels of God. The Lord was also there. Verse 13a.
C. Jacob was not alone. The Lord reminded Jacob of the promises He had made to his forefathers.
1. Verse 15. Jacob would never be alone. The Lord God almighty promised to be with him.
2. The Lord God almighty promised to guide, direct, protect Jacob until his word was fulfilled.
D. God’s promise is the same for believers in their earthly pilgrimage today. Believers are promise that they will never travel alone. But did you know that at least ¼ quarter (25%) of people in our country suf-fer from loneliness and feelings of being forgotten and forsaken. They have disconnected with society around them. Worse, many in this world have disconnected from God’s eternal presence. Today people want to be so self-sufficient that they do not feel they need God or that he can help all that much. How does this happen? "They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts" (EPHESIANS 4:18).
E. It becomes all the more important in our lives that we do not forget God’s closeness to us in our lives. When we look to the Lord we realize how faithful he has been and always will be. God is faithful even in the midst of our unfaithfulness. Our Lord does not forsake us even in times when we may turn our backs on him. As Joshua led the people into the Promised Land he reminded the Israelites of God’s faithful-ness. "Praise be to the LORD, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses" (1 KINGS 8:56). We agree!
F. God’s great promise to us this morning is the fact that believers never travel alone. This same God who made the heavens and the earth, all creation by his powerful word, this Lord almighty still cares for each one of us as individuals. His promise to each of us is his divine assurance to care and provide for us. Our loving Lord’s divine assurance is not just for this short earthly life but also, especially, for eternity. "…He (God) has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires" (2 PETER 1:4)
TRANS: BELIEVERS NEVER TRAVEL ALONE. We celebrate this promise of our Lord. We know
II. THIS IS OUR LORD’S BLESSING
A. Remember Jacob, he is on a journey by himself to see relatives he has never met before.
1. Jacob is already 40 years old and the journey to Haran is 500 miles, a very long trip.