Summary: Jacob assuredly had many journeys in his long and eventful life...but none more meaningful than the three set forth in this brief outline.
JACOB’S THREE MEANINGFUL JOURNEYS
"And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: ’I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac’…Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ’Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.’ And he was afraid and said, ’How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." Genesis 28:13,16-17
I. FIRST JOURNEY TO BETHEL: A VISION OF GOD.
"Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the Lord…" Genesis 28:12-13a.
A godly life begins with a three-fold vision of God.
1. A vision of His holiness much like Isaiah had.
"In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple." Isaiah 6:1.
2. A vision of His power much like Jesus said that Caiaphas the high priest would see.
"…Again the high priest was questioning Him, and saying to Him, ’Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?’ And Jesus said, ’I am; and you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven." Mark 14:61b-62 (read also Matthew 26:62-65).
3. A vision of His compassion that resulted in His feeding the five thousand.
"And Jesus, when He came out, saw a multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd." Mark 6:34.
II. JOURNEY TO PENIEL: AN ENCOUNTER WITH GOD.
"Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day…So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: ’For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." Genesis 32:24, 30.
Whether you encounter Him on your own "road to Damascus", or beside your own "well in Samaria", or at the altar of the church...do not leave that encounter until you have received the blessing that only He can give!
III. SECOND JOURNEY TO BETHEL: WORSHIP OF GOD.
His first stay at Bethel and his stay at Peniel were brief. His return to Bethel was to build an altar to worship God and he was instructed “to dwell there.”
Our entire life should be one continuous worship experience, giving praise to God for everything.
"Then God said to Jacob, ’Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there; and make an altar there to God. And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, ’Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and has been with me in the way I have gone." Genesis 35:1-3.