7.13.2015 "Jacob's Dream at Bethel"

Dear God in Heaven, Thank you for the gift of another day.  Thank you for the gift of life and for the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.  I love you, I worship you, and I trust you!

As I read and meditate on your Holy Word, please speak to me.  Prepare my heart to receive all that you have for me today.  I ask, Heavenly Father, that you send your Holy Spirit to fill me to overflowing.  Help me to apply your Word to every aspect of my life.

In Jesus' name I pray.  Amen!

Genesis 28:10-15

Jacob’s Dream at Bethel

10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 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[a] 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.[b] 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.”

Delton mentioned in Sunday's message that the dream recorded in today's reading was the first direct encounter Jacob had with the Lord.  Jacob was almost certainly aware of the many times God spoke to his grandfather, Abraham.  God told Abraham on a number of occasions he would be the father of many nations, his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky, and all nations of the world would be blessed through him.  Jacob was even more certainly aware of the way his father, Isaac, was spared from death when God provided a substitute sacrifice for Abraham to offer.

What a dream Jacob dreamed!  God starts by boldly stating who it is that is speaking to Jacob.  He connects himself with Jacob's ancestors, Abraham and Isaac.  Then he goes on to make the very same promise of providence and blessing to Jacob that he previously made to his grandfather and father.

As we read God's words to Jacob, I think we all inwardly yearn for those same words of blessing from God.  God has created and wired us for connection with him, so we would all like to hear God speak those same words to us.  The Good News is that he has!  We are even more blessed than Jacob because we live on this side of Jesus' suffering, death, and resurrection.  We have the advantage of Jesus' powerful words, "I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die." (John 11:25 - 26)

As you go about your day today, be reminded that we have a God who is near - personal and present.  God is for me - the best me I can be!