Dr. Zane Brown
Are you reading the Bible through with me? Grab your pen and journal, and get ready to write your thoughts as you journey through the Bible.
Read Genesis 28-30 today. Focus on Jacob’s encounter with Yahweh God in chapter 28.
In previous chapters, Jacob had cheated Esau out of his inheritance. While that was dishonest, God used the situation to bless Jacob and thereby keep His promises to Abraham to make his descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky. Although Abraham was his grandfather, we aren’t certain until chapter 28 that Jacob had a relationship with God. But there, he had a personal encounter the Lord!
Jacob had been sent by his family to find a God-fearing wife, unlike the wives Esau had chosen. That night Jacob 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. At the very top 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. 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.”
The Lord also said, “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.” When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”
God has a plan for every person’s life. He has one for you though you may not be aware of it. Nothing happens in our lives that God doesn’t know about. He is constantly working in our lives by planning, disciplining and blessing us. Our responsibility is to give our lives into His care and let Him lead us. His way is perfect…ours is not. Sometimes we will fully understand why things happened the way they did, but other times, we may never understand. But God has a purpose and plan for every event, day, moment, and second in our lives.
After Jacob awoke, the first thing he did was build an altar, anoint the altar with precious oil, worship God there, and name the place Beth El (Bethel). Did you know that Bethel really means “house of God?”
In your journal write how you can make your life a Beth El.
Compare God’s promise to Jacob with the one He made to Abraham in Genesis chapter 15. How are the promises similar? Write your answers. How has God kept promises to you? What promises have you made to God and faithfully kept?
Pray, Lord, thank You for keeping all Your promises, but especially for the promised Gift of the Lord Jesus. Through Him, all the people on earth can experience the blessing of salvation and eternal, abundant life. Help me to be a faithful witness of Your love, faithfulness and that precious Gift, the Lord Jesus.