Summary: In uncertain times can we depend on God? God is present with us, God knows all about us; including our strengths and weaknesses, God continues to call us forward


September 2, 2012 Jay Robison GEN 28:10-17 PS 91:1-11

Though he’s remembered as hero, Jacob was surely a scoundrel

He was not kind of person you’d want to go in business with

Or the kind of man you’d want to marry your sister

Jacob=heal grabber one who wanted to get ahead from womb

Born grabbing heal of older twin Esau to get out first

Swindled birthright from his brother for pot of stew

Deceived his father into thinking he was Esau oldest boy

Wanted father’s blessing more than anything and he got it

As is case with all who get ahead at all costs He was clever,

with quick mind, successful and great talker but in Gen 28

see something else about Jacob longs for more than material

We are invited into intimate scene from Jacob’s life

He is missing something, $$ and his wits could not supply

Missing peace of mind

No matter how much he has still feels unlovable

Jacob’s life was out of control many people feel that way

He is alone estranged from his family left father’s death bed,

conspired with mom to cheat brother is threatening to kill him

He is carrying guilt, life falling in on him

Read that Jacob was between two cities he is nowhere

Shakespeare being banished is a fate worse than death

Jacob thought being on run only hope for survival

Can we depend on God when we’ve made mess of life

Because we all feel life is a mess sometimes

1. We can depend on fact that God is present

Greatest surprise in story was he could sleep w\stone pillow

Every sound in wilderness represented a threat could be Esau

If you love $$ more than people sooner or later will be alone

While asleep has dream angels are moving up & down ladder

Ziggaurat ANE folks built ramp\staircase to get God here

Ancient religions had highly developed realm of angels

Christians recognize angels as messengers of God

Message to J from God is I am here, know your life situation

God is committed to empty handed fugitive

Creates wonder shock and amazement

Note J’s response when wakes up Surely the presence of Lord

in this place & did not know it confidence hope surge

God’s presence changes everything, now he is somewhere

We may miss God’s presence does not mean God absent

Biblical message from beginning to end; God is with us

Genesis God as creator, prophets law on inward parts

To ultimate revelation Jesus Immanuel God with us

Hell is to be banished from the presence of God

Could have happened to Jacob loneliness was unbearable

Not to late God still present & will be forever reach to God

When enter worship reminded of the presence of god with us

God has not thrown in the towel world is not Godforsaken

We do not have to do it alone

God is with us today

God’s presence in our lives changes everything!

2. We can depend on God’s promises

God renews Abraham covenant with Jacob Vs 14

Jacob the scoundrel crook rogue and rascal

God says my word is still good

Still doesn’t seem fair Esau eldest good to family not chosen

In reality none of us are worthy of being used by God

God’s promises do not depend on us they depend on God

Up to us to take God’s word for it

Vs 15 God says I will not leave you until I have done

What I have promised you

In other words god’s promises do not depend on us

Our feelings or approach, depend on God

Consider some of God’s promises today

All things Work together for Good to those who love God…

What shall separate us from the Love of God in Christ Jesus...

For we know that if this earthly tent is destroyed have house...

In all your ways acknowledge God he will direct your path…

I if I be lifted up will draw all people to me

Give and it will be given to you pressed down running over

For God to loved the world that gave only begotten son

So that whosoever believes in him should not perish

These promises are given as foundation to relationship

With God from here on

3. We can depend on God’s provision beautiful Psalm

Those who live in shelter of Most high means hiding place

Of the almighty god is close and near to us

We are hidden beneath the shelter of God’s wings

National Geographic had illustration of this several years ago

After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park rangers

Trekked up a mountain to assess the inferno’s damage.

One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched

Like a statues on the ground at the base of a tree.

Sickened by eerie sight, he knocked over bird with a stick

When he hit it, 3 tiny chicks scurried from under their dead

mother’s wings. Mother, aware of impending disaster,

carried offspring to base of tree gathered them under wings,

could have flown to safety but refused to abandon her babies.

When the blaze had arrived & heat had singed her small body,

the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been

willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live.

Image of God’s protection over us

1000 fall at one side 10000 at other no evil fall on you vs 7

How many of you here have ever had evil happen to you?

Even after you came to follow God?

Of course church history littered with martyrs for faith

So does that mean verse not true?

Could be referring to one event or battle

Vs 9-10 as we make the Lord our refuge no evil befalls us

That God cannot or will not heal one day

God’s miracles of protection & power to keep people of God

in the face of great difficulties are seen throughout the Bible

Paul talks about the blessing of suffering for Christ

In other words God can redeem our facing evil

As we God and trust God in every situation & circumstance.

The Will of God never takes you to where

the Grace of God will not protect you.

Listen Ps 91:11 For He shall give His angels charge over you

To keep you in all your ways. You who sit down in the

High God's presence, spend the night in Shaddai's shadow,

Interesting to note what Jacob did after his dream

He made where he was a holy place vs 18

Called it bethel or house of God Vs 19

Helmut Thielicke students writing him as soldiers in WW II

Common theme I am exhausted from marching

Stomach empty, Russian winter is biting, I am starving

No time for reflection spiritual life ruined How to reply

Be thankful the gospel is more than philosophy, if philosophy

Have it as long as you could keep it in mind & could comfort

But remember our faith is more than a philosophy

Even when you can no longer think about God

God still thinks about you

In uncertain times can we depend on God?

God is still present, promises to build life on

God provides a way for us through the darknes