Summary: Jacob has been asleep his whole life, but God is about to wake him up. See if God is perhaps speaking to you as a sleep-walker as well.
From the Very Start
A Look at the Ancient Text of Genesis that speaks with Amazing Present-day Relevance
A little history as you turn to Genesis 28:
- Abraham receives 2 promises:
o Father of many nations
o I will give you this land
§ Struggles to doing things God’s way
- Finally, Abraham and Sarah have Isaac – the promised son
- Isaac marries Rebekah and they have twins: Esau and Jacob
o Esau is a man of the earth, a man’s man
§ He’s Daddy’s favorite
§ Sportsman, outdoorsman,
§ Turns out he’s kind of the all around dumb-jock
o Jacob is a little different
§ He’s Mom’s favorite
§ Hangs out around the kitchen
§ Always a trickster.
· Born grabbing the heel – in fact, that’s his name – the one who grabs the heel, who ‘hamstrings’ people
2 Key moments:
§ Extorts his brother Esau out of his birthright
§ Follows his mother’s instructions to trick his father out of the family blessing
· Esau is ready to kill his brother after Dad passes away
· Rebekah hears this and arranges for Jacob to make a quick exit – going to find a wife in her homeland.
Jacob’s Waking Dream
Genesis 28: 12-22
“Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep.” Genesis 28:10-11
As this account begins…
w Jacob is alone
o Notice no one is with him. Where is his family? Where are the man-servants, the maid-servants, the lads? Where are the donkeys? He’s alone. He’s got very little with him.
w Jacob is on the run from his blemished past
- His name alone must be terrible
- His passion is real, but his efforts are regretful
- His own frustration at not living up to his father’s expectation, his parent’s divided loyalty.
- There are very real unfinished issues here.
w Jacob is on the run from his broken relationships
- His father must be angry and disappointed at being deceived
- His mother must be worried about his safety and security
- His brother wants him dead.
How ironic – he’s grabbed the firstborn’s inheritance and the family blessing – but he can’t go home to claim it or fulfill it.
He stops for the night, and the only comfort he can find is a rock for a pillow. The rock is a fitting pillow isn’t it? Because on this journey he’s not finding any comfort at all.
Jacob is out in the middle of nowhere, unsure of how anything he’s ever wanted to come true in his future will ever happen. He’s had all these dreams and passions, all this ambition and zeal – and now, he’s on the run with only his questions, his worries, his doubt and his despair to comfort him.
Have you ever been there? Been that alone? Been that unsure of the future? That embaressed with your past? No one understands, no one’s been this way before? He’s out in the middle of nowhere – no motel 6, no traveling companions, no XM Radio.
Notice something else – he may hold the family fortune in his hands, but he doesn’t seem to have a hold on the family faith!
Notice his words in Genesis 27:20 –
 Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me. Please sit up and eat some of my game so that you may give me your blessing." Isaac asked his son, "How did you find it so quickly, my son?" "The Lord your God gave me success," he replied. Genesis 27:19-20
Jacob may have grown up in his father’s house, he may be the direct descendant of Father Abraham, but he seems to share little of their faith in God.
Jacob may be wide awake running around, trying to secure his future, now running away from his brother and from his past… His eyes may be open – but spiritually, he’s asleep and he doesn’t even know it.
He lays down his head, closes his eyes, and as best as we can tell, God speaks to him for the first time in his life.
Genesis 28: 12-15
God speaks to Jacob through a dream. In this dream God promises to…
- Fulfill His covenant through Jacob
o I’m going to follow through on my promises
o Through You I’m going to do this.
§ In one sense, Jacob’s ambition and passion pays off. He’s rescued the future of the family from Esau’s leadership. I mean, do you really want to trust your family name to someone who sells their inheritance for a bowl of soup?