Sunday, February 10, 2008

Jacob at Bethel - Gen 28

Jacob at Bethel

Gen 28:10 And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.
Gen 28:11 And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
Gen 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

Heb 1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.

Jacob meets God in a dream, he sees a ladder with angels ascending and descending on it. I had a friend, who came from a bad family, who when saved was very close to God. In her struggling early life angels would minister to her. She said to me that in the sky, when the stars are clear, that she can see angels coming down from heaven, from a certain place in the stars. This was the dream of Jacob, a place where God's messengers would be coming down to earth. This was a holy place, a place where he personally met God. Jesus is the Spiritual ladder, the access to God, the meeting place and access to the Father above.

John 1:49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
John 1:50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
John 1:51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

Jesus is the passage way to heaven, the door, or the ladder.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Our president has said there are many faiths, but the same God. A well known preacher said that Jesus was one way, to God. The angels found a way, but we will not go with them by any other way than through the name above all names: the Lord Jesus Christ.

Gen 28:13 And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
Gen 28:14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
Gen 28:15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.

God is repeating to Jacob the terms of the covenant He gave to both Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) and Isaac (Genesis 26:2-5).

"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 spoken to you "

We also have the promise of God being with us to complete his work through us.

Heb 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Heb 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Phil 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

2 Tim 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
2 Tim 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

Gen 28:16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.
Gen 28:17 And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

Jacob understood that this was a holy place, a place where God met him.How awesome is his presence in this place. We often say this in our church. How awesome, how holy is the LORD in our presence. Abraham had built an alter to worship God, wherever he went and now God has met Jacob.

Gen 12:7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
Gen 12:8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD. Was this the same place where Abraham met God?

Gen 13:3 And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai;
Gen 13:4 Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.

Isaac, Jacobs father, had built an altar where God met him at Beersheba.

Gen 26:23 And he went up from thence to Beersheba.
Gen 26:24 And the LORD appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham's sake.
Gen 26:25 And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the LORD, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac's servants digged a well.

Now Jacob would make Bethel his place of worship.

Gen 28:18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.

The rock; spiritually Jesus is the rock, and the oil, of the Holy Spirit.

Gen 28:19 And he called the name of that place Bethel: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.

Jacob in Bethel, is 40 miles from home. Bethel, means house of God. Luz is the word meaning Almond tree.

Gen 28:20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on,
Gen 28:21 So that I come again to my father's house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God:

God had made an unconditional covenant with Jacob, in spite of his crooked ways. Now Jacob puts his own conditions to God, before he will accept the covenant. Jacob was self centered in his conditions. He spoke to God as if he were doing God a favor by allowing him to be his God.

A lot of people approach God in this way; if you bless me I will believe in you. If you do what I want, then I will believe in you. If youprosper me, then you will be my God. Well, if not? will you leave him? Will you continue to manipulate people to get your way? Jacob has lessons to learn and he will learn them from uncle Laban.

Jacob put the conditions to accepting God and his promises, he had urgent needs of food and shelter. There was no faith in Jacob's vow, he was still in charge, the manipulator of God for his own selfish ends. God would prove himself faithful to Jacob.

Gen 28:22 And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

Jacob lays up a memorial stone, and calls it God's house, or dwelling place. He promises to tithe 10 percent of all that the LORD ives him, back to him. If you were supplying all of someones needs, would you think it a big favor if they gave you back a tenth? Not really, but it is an acknowledgment to God that he is there, and that he is the supplier of all good things.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

We are to acknowledge God by giving back to his service our income and our total life.

Prov 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Prov 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Jacob had met God for himself. He was not only the God of Abraham and Isaac, but now he was the God of Jacob.

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