Summary: Dreams can be a place of encounter with God. He desires to speak to us and sometimes that is the only place our will is not interfering with His voice.
Encountering God – Part 12 – Jacob Meets God in a Dream
Context: Gen 28:1-5 So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him and commanded him: "Do not marry a Canaanite woman. 2 Go at once to Paddan Aram, to the house of your mother’s father Bethuel. Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. 3 May God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and increase your numbers until you become a community of peoples. 4 May he give you and your descendants the blessing given to Abraham, so that you may take possession of the land where you now live as an alien, the land God gave to Abraham." 5 Then Isaac sent Jacob on his way, and he went to Paddan Aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, who was the mother of Jacob and Esau.
Context, Isaac, son of Abraham, has grown up and has had twin boys, Jacob and Esau. Jacob is a problem child, and Isaac is wondering if he is going to have any grandkids so he sends his son to get see if he can find a wife. Jacob is leaving home because of his father’s wish and with his father’s blessing. But you should also know that Jacob is leaving because if he doesn’t, his twin brother Esau will kill him for cheating him out of the family inheritance. It really may not have been his choice to leave home. He may have preferred to stay home with his mother. If he doesn’t go he is a dead man. There is an irony…he’s grabbed the firstborn’s inheritance and the family blessing – but he can’t stay home to claim it or fulfill it.
So Isaac’s mental and emotional state is a whirlwind. He must feel like his life is falling apart. He has to be wondering what tomorrow will hold. All he has connived and manipulated to accomplish has led to nothing but sorrow and fear of his brother.
Before I start on this sermon, I wonder, have you worked hard to create a life that you thought would be rewarding only to find it falling apart at the seams? Have you built your dreams on sweat and long hours and now you are wondering if they will be there tomorrow? If so, you have a lot in common with Jacob. He is the grandson of Abraham, a very successful man of God. He had everything going for him but in just a short time it has all fallen apart.
Genesis 28:10-15 Then Jacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 He came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place. 12 He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. 14 "Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 "Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
Genesis 28:16-22 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it." 17 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." 18 So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on its top. 19 He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, 21 and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the LORD will be my God. 22 "This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You."