Reading: Genesis 28:1-5 and 10-17
Esau threatens to kill Jacob; the future of the church, represented by Jacob, is in danger. So Jacob is sent away. He feels very uneasy. His deception is so sinful. Is his father’s blessing, received through deception, really for him? Should he first make peace with his father? Can he take a long and dangerous journey all alone without God’s blessing? Will he ever return?
The Lord is very gracious, and faithful to His promises. Even though Jacob deserves God’s punishment, God reassures him. First, God moves father Isaac to forbid Jacob to marry an unbeliever. Then Isaac blesses Jacob with the same blessing God had given to Abraham.
As Jacob journeys east he still feels uncertain. God again reassures him. In a wonderful dream Jacob sees a ladder connecting heaven and earth. Angels were ascending and descending. God, standing above, promises: I will give the land to you and your descendants who shall numberless. All the families of the earth will be blessed in you. God will preserve you and bring you back to this land. The angels will surround Jacob. How wonderful: this lonely, sinful person receives not just rich promises, but is reminded that God and His angels care for him.
We sometimes feel lonely and forgotten by God. Don’t trust your feelings; instead, think about God’s promises. The promises He gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are also for us (Acts 2:39) Furthermore Psalm 91:11 reassures us: “He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways”. So our faith is strengthened and we can have a peaceful heart.
Key text: Gen 28:16 “Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.’ ”
Question: when you feel lonely and forgotten, which of God’s promises do you think about for comfort and strength?