Summary: When I read this next section on Jacob’s ladder, God’s Promise and Jacobs response.
Esau has exposed the fraud to Isaac and is making plans to kill Jacob; Rebekah has discovered the plot and found a way of escape, sending Jacob to seek a wife among her own people. Jacob get sent with his Fathers blessing. But now he has to be wondering. He has the birthright and the blessing but no land, nothing to take with him, no future in his own home. After being blessed, he is dispossessed and on an errand to a family he doesn’t know. (This is similar to going off to College)
That’s where this week’s story starts. Jacob is between a place where he is no longer welcome and a place where he has never been. He’s guilty, defenseless and scared; He finds himself out in the hill country north of Beer-sheba. Worn-out and ready for some rest, he lies down under the night sky with nothing but a stone for a pillow.
Can we identify with this situation; this is a coming of age story. On the outside it looks like the person has a great birthright (a great family), they have given a great Blessing (their potential is almost limitless). But Jacob story just like our own is always so messy. And he wonders is God really going to bless a screw up, is God really going to give the land to a liar. He is wondering like we wonder if we have forfeited God’s Blessing. Can God really bless people who cut so many corners, who miss what he is doing so many times?
I am so thankful for God’s answer
When I read this next section on Jacob’s ladder, God’s Promise and Jacobs response. I kept thinking about the truth of these promises in a rock climbing situation.
When you first start rock climbing you should be with an experienced climber who this the lead climber. They pick the route and secure the anchors and carabineers for us to clip into. This is life under our family, our parents navigate the first part of the mountain of life for us. They pick the places to drive in the Petons for our anchor points. These anchors are there to keep us from falling, to secure us. Jacobs Father has nailed in anchors Yahwee is the one and only God, He will give us the land, He will give us Children, He will bless the world through us.
Can you see that the beginning of our journey was guided others
Now we find Jacob at that place all of us reach were we need to Go on ahead, we need to lead, and Jacob is in transition. In Genesis 27:20 Isaac asks him how he found the food so quickly and he said Gen 27:20, "Because the Lord your God granted me success". God was not yet his God. If you can visualize this Jacob begin his trip up the cliff with his faith in his Fathers anchors. I don’t want to down play the importance of where the Faith of others can take us, but it is not where God desires to leave us.
It is in this situation that God shows his grace and love. He shows up beside Jacob and drives an anchor in above him. Saying “I am with you,” “I will keep you.” “I will give you land, Children, and blessings.” I will climb beside you. I need those anchors in my life.
In v. 17, it says Jacob is awe-struck (“afraid”) and says that the place is awe-inspiring (“awesome”). This, he says, is the “house of God” (hence Bethel) and the “gate of heaven”.
What have the Awesome moments in our lives looked like? The moments when God’s was gracious enough to give us an anchor? I times when moved us out of someone elses faith into a personal Partnership with God.
Camp – Nashville Trip this year – Coffee Shop Haney
When God shows up he makes Jacob several promises. Promises that Jacob holds onto when things get tough. Promises driven into the mountain for his children, and their childrens Children.
Promise to Jacob
• Give you Land
• Many Children
• Spread in Power
• Earth Blessed through you and Children
• I am with you
• I will keep you everywhere you Go
• I will do what I have promised
What is God promising us?
What promises are We holding onto?
• God is now my Father “He is with me”
• He will be with me through any decision or situation
• God want to use me to change his world
• God wants to make me a Whole person
• I will be with him in death
• I will see the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God through resurrection
Jacob responds to God’s completely unconditional promise of blessing and protection with a completely conditional promise of his own. "IF you will give me the land, food, clothing and protection, THEN I will be your man." In response to this incredible blessing of God, all Jacob can think of saying is, "SHOW ME THE MONEY!" I mean, can you believe this guy! God, out of the unbelievable goodness of his heart, gives Jacob holy heaven instead of hell, and Jacob, demonstrating that he hasn’t learned a blessed thing, says in response, "Prove it to me!" The story of Jacob tells us that God understands our impulse to bargain and is walling to stay with us in spite of it. The story suggests that God has high purposes for us, and that after we’ve finished trying to bargain, God will have more lessons to teach us.