Daily D – Genesis 28:10-15
Genesis 28:10-15 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 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.”
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ge 28:10–15.
One of the great clarifying questions we can consider asks, “If you knew you would not fail, what would you do?” Ponder this thought for a moment.
In Billy Joel’s classic song Piano Man, he sings,
Now John at the bar is a friend of mine
He gets me my drinks for free
And he’s quick with a joke, or to light up your smoke
But there’s someplace that he’d rather be
He says, “Bill, I believe this is killing me”
As the smile ran away from his face
“Well I’m sure that I could be a movie star
If I could get out of this place”
There is a sense in which we are all Walter Mitty.
Jacob was a man quadruply blessed. His outcome was forecast before he ever arrived on the scene. He was blessed by his father through a little trickery that kept things aligned with what God told his mother before he was born. His father blessed him as he left on his journey to find a wife. God blessed him and promised to bless him and his family forever.
Notice verse 15 above: “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.”
The first blessing is found in Genesis 25:23 in God’s answer to Rebekah’s prayer about what was going on in her womb as the twins, Esau and Jacob, were jostling one another (verse 22). God said,
“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you will be separated;
one people will be stronger than the other,
and the older will serve the younger.”
Esau was born first. Jacob did not want to be left behind and grabbed his big brother’s heel (verse 26). That’s how he earned a name meaning Deceiver. How would you like to carry around that burden for a lifetime?
The second blessing is found in Genesis 27 where Rebekah and Jacob lived down to his name. However, they were also living into the promise God had made about Jacob and Esau in 25:23. Perhaps it is better not to attempt to determine who was more righteous or who was more to blame in this episode and focus on the outcome. Things worked out just as God said they would. His is the final word. His words are authoritative.
The third blessing is found in Genesis 28. Isaac blesses Jacob as he leaves to go to his mother’s family to find a wife.
So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him.
Then he 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 reside as a foreigner, the land God gave to Abraham.”
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Ge 28:1–4.
Jacob certainly leaned into this blessing, didn’t he? He and his wives were fruitful and they did increase in numbers. God did bless him and his descendants, and yes, they did eventually take possession of the land.
The fourth blessing is found later in this same chapter. Jacob laid himself down for a rest beneath a starry, starry sky. There he saw a stairway to heaven (No, not that one.). There God blessed him with the greatest of blessings:
- All people groups on earth would be blessed through him and his descendants.
- God would be with him in all things at all times.
- God would direct his steps and lead him back to that very land which he had promised to Abraham and Isaac and now to him and his descendants.
- God would never leave him until that promise was completely fulfilled.
Again, what would you do if you knew you would not fail? Do you remember the final words of Matthew’s Gospel? Jesus says, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age,” (Matthew 28:20).
When we walk with God day by day, when we follow his path for our lives, he will guide us, he will provide for us, and he will bless us far beyond anything we can now imagine. As you lean into this commitment, what will you do now that you know you will not fail?
This is a point worth pondering.
I will walk with God into the special future he wants to produce through me.
Our Father, what do you want to accomplish through my life? That’s what I want, too. Lead me into the outcomes you desire for me. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”