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Monday, September 26, 2016

Worth Considering: Direction and Purpose

Genesis 28:10-17

Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And the LORD stood beside him and said, "I am the LORD, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; , and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. Know that 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." Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place-- and I did not know it!" And 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."

Beersheba was the southern boundary of Abraham's territory
and the territory that Isaac received as his birthright.

By Ethelene Dyer Jones

Before we truly appreciate and understand better God’s Word in this verse, we need to study it in context (and certainly, each scripture should be studied in context). Jacob (with subterfuge) had received the birthright blessing from his father Isaac. Esau, Jacob’s twin brother, was tricked by Jacob, and the guilty brother feared Esau’s retaliation. He was on his way to Haran.

Jacob stopped at a place to spend the night. In a vision (or dream), he saw a ladder reaching from earth to heaven, and saw angels descending and ascending on the ladder. God identified himself to Jacob as the Lord of Abraham and Isaac—and of Jacob, too. The promise made to Abraham—of making his descendants a great nation—was repeated to Jacob. In response, Jacob sat the stone he had used as a pillow, made an altar and called it Bethel—that is “Beth-El”—the house of God.

God was in that place and Jacob knew it not until he had the vision. He could not run away from God. Then Jacob made his own commitment to God at Bethel, promising to follow God, give Him a tithe of all he earned, and then asking God to protect, feed, and give him peace. There in the wilderness on his way to Haran, Jacob met God and realized He was everywhere—he could not escape from God’s care and mercy—and calling.

The message God gave to Jacob on that long ago journey is as much to each believer today as it was to Jacob: “I am with you,” God says.

I will protect you.
I will bring you back to this land.
I will not leave you until I do what I have promised you.

These are strong promises from God for direction and purpose for our lives.

Will I, like Jacob, at the altar of my heart bow down and worship God?

In the light of God’s promise and revelation, will I pledge to follow God?

Prayer of commitment:

Here am I, Lord. Thank You for allowing me to be a part of Your Master Plan for people. Thank You for giving me direction and purpose in life. Amen.

Related reading: Jacob Leaves Beersheba; Jacob's Journeys

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