Psalm 150 Genesis 28:18-22 November 3, 2013
What would cause a man to do and say what Jacob did and said? Yes, Jacob did set a stone up for a pillar. Then he poured oil on the top of it. He named the place – Bethel, the house of God. That is what he did. Yes, Jacob made a vow to God. Jacob said that as long as God was with him, then the Lord would be his God. He said, “My God.”
There has to be more to this story about Jacob and God. Let us discover the God to whom Jacob made a vow. Let us also discover the Jacob to whom God made such an impression. It is in the story of Jacob that we discover God and his working in Jacob’s life.
- Jacob’s history is important (Genesis 25-27)
- He was a twin of Esau (25:19-26)
- Grandsons of Abraham & Sarah
- He was a twin of Esau (25:19-26)
– Abraham was promised many descendents & that God would bless him & all families through him (12:1-3)
– Isaac was born when they were old
– Isaac was to be sacrificed, but God provided a ram for the sacrifice!
- Sons of Isaac & Rebekah
– A servant brought Rebekah from Nahor (24:10)
– Isaac met Rebekah & the servant on the road
– Esau – “Red”
– Esau (a hunter) was favored by Isaac
– Jacob (a shepherd) was favored by Rebekah
- They struggled in Rebekah’s womb – & in life!
- Jacob means
– “Grasping/by the heal”
– “He supplants/He overreaches”
- He buys Esau’s birthright (25:27-34) – for a bowl of stew!
- He steals Esau’s blessing from Isaac (27:1-29)
- Isaac thought he was near death, so he wanted to bless the eldest son
- Rebekah overheard what Isaac told Esau
- Rebekah plans, with Jacob’s participation, to get the blessing for Jacob
- Jacob tricked Isaac
- Esau is furious and plans to kill Jacob (27:41)
- He escapes from Esau and goes to Laban (27:41-28:5)
- Rebekah encourages Jacob to escape
- She tells Isaac to give Jacob to get a wife from Laban’s family
- Isaac hopes that God gives Jacob the blessing of Abraham (28:3-4)
- This is where we find Jacob, traveling to be with his uncle. His life has been a mess. He has struggled all his life with his brother. Even stealing Esau’s birthright and the blessing from their father! Yet, just as God spoke to Abraham and to Isaac, God has words for Jacob.
- Jacob’s present story is important (Genesis 28:10-22)
- He rests for the night, with a stone as his pillow
- He dreamed of a ladder/ramp going between heaven and earth (much like a ramp on an ancient temple)
- Angels were going up & down the ramp
- Then God is beside Jacob (28:13)
- He tells Jacob the same promise he told Abraham & Isaac (28:14-15)
- Jacob recognizes that God had been with him in that place! (28:16-17) – house of God, gate of heaven
- Uses his “pillow” stone as a pillar & anoints the stone
- Though the place was called Luz, he calls it, “Bethel”
– House of God
– Famous for people from Abraham to even later with Elijah & Elisha (2 Kings 2)
- Jacob makes a vow to God
– If God be with me, keep me, give bread & clothing, come to my father’s house in peace
– Then the Lord shall be my God
– The stone shall be God’s house
– I will give you 1/10 of all you give me
- Jacob’s present story is important. He discovers God! As we have read and heard the story, we know God has been working in Jacob’s life. This happened even though Jacob did not recognize God earlier in his life. It took God speaking to Jacob directly for him to understand who God is. He re-speaks God’s promise and is going to hold God to it. And God is going to hold Jacob to his promise! Time will tell if Jacob does keep his promise to God. The rest of Jacob’s story is not as we would think it is!
- The rest of Jacob’s story is also important (Genesis 29-50)
- Meets & falls in love with Rachel – Laban’s youngest daughter
- Works 7 years for Rachel, gets tricked & marries Leah!
- Works 7 more years for Rachel
- Leaves Laban, who is much wealthier because of Jacob, with all of his children, wives, and livestock
- Wrestles with God & is renamed “Israel”
- Meets Esau – they have peace between them, of sorts
- Jacob returns to Bethel (35:1-15)
- The Nation of Israel has to become faithful to God, who is faithful to them
- Jesus Christ, a descendent of Jacob, remains faithful to God
- The remainder of Jacob’s life is important as well. It changed after he met God. There was still conflict, even amongst his family and with the neighbors. Jacob knew and trusted God. He remained faithful to God. Jacob/Israel’s descendants had opportunity to also remain faithful to God. Jesus Christ remained faithful to God. Jesus Christ has shown us how to remain faithful. It is through Jesus Christ; Jacob’s descendent, that all families on earth are blessed.
Yes, Jacob worshipped the God he met along the way. Jacob did worship God by making a place for him and giving God a tithe of all that God had given him. Jacob did speak of his plans to remain faithful to God, as God was going to be faithful to him.
As we go along our lives, I hope we hear from God. We may have struggles along the way. But God is keeping to his promises that he has given his people. When we do meet God along the way, then let us also worship God. When we do meet God along the way, then let us give God ten percent of what he has given us! Surely these actions will be a sign of our faithfulness to God.