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!