Summary: Like many of us Jacob was not conscious of God’s presence in his life. Oh, he knew about God, he had worshiped with his dad – he even went through the hassle of stealing the birthright and blessing from his brother Esau. But he, like many of us, went abou
28:1 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.
Here we see a 2 part blessing passed on from Isaac to his son Jacob:
1. A prayer that he would be fruitful (many descendants).
2. A prayer that Abraham’s blessing of possessing the land would be realized by Jacob.
10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. 11 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. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it stood the LORD, and he said: "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
Jacob, a young man, is off on an adventure – away from home, anxious, fearful, uncertain, lonely. Jacob reminds me of the thousands of young men I met in the military – away from home for the first time – anxious, fearful, uncertain, lonely. God is the last thing on the minds of these young men until they get into trouble.
That night Jacob was more than likely just looking for a safe place to spend the night. Little did he know that was about to have a divine encounter with God.
Like many of us, he was not conscious of God’s presence in his life. Oh, he knew about God, he had worshiped with his dad – he even went through the hassle of stealing the birthright and blessing from his brother Esau. But he, like many of us, went about his every day affairs largely unaware of the continuous presence of God in his life.
He lies down and has a dream in which God confirms his promise to him that he will indeed be fruitful and possess the land. But he adds something else, he says “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.”
Notice that in v. 15 God says “I am with you…” He doesn’t say “I was with you” or “I will be with you,” but “I am with you.” Yahweh is not the “I was” God or the “I will be” God, but he is the God of the here and now! Yahweh … the great “I am” is the God of this moment in your life!
Listen Church, God is with you – right now and always! You just don’t realize that you are daily walking in the presence of almighty God. You go through your day as if he didn’t exist, and you’re missing out on benefits of your Christian citizenship. Church, we need to start living as though we were in the presence of the king.
How would you prepare yourself for a visit to President Bush?
How much more should you prepare yourself to be in the presence of God?
Is God with us? Listen to the words of Jesus in John 14:15-21…15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."