JACOB’S ENCOUNTER WITH THE LORD
Knowing what Jacob needed at this time, Rebekah approached Isaac and said to him “I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth; if Jacob takes a wife of the daughters of Heth, like these who are the daughters of the land, what good will my life be to me?” Genesis 27:46. Then Isaac called Jacob and blessed him, and [charged him, and said to him: “You shall not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan. Arise, go to Padan Aram, to the house of Bethuel your mother’s father; and take yourself a wife from there of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother.“May God Almighty bless you, And make you fruitful and multiply you, That you may be an assembly of peoples; And give you the blessing of Abraham, To you and your descendants with you, That you may inherit the land In which you are a stranger, Which God gave to Abraham.” So Isaac sent Jacob away, and he went to Padan Aram, to Laban the son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau. Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, 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.” (Genesis 28:1-5, 10-15)’
From the scriptures above , we saw how Rebekah initiated Jacob’s escape from Esau and then Isaac fully cooperated with her, and then blessed him again with the blessings of Abraham. Then as he embarked upon the journey, God visited him in his dream and introduced Himself (apparently the first encounter) to him as the God of Abraham and of Isaac and all the blessings of Abraham have been released upon him, and God promised never to leave him until He had done what He purposed to do for him. What a beautiful way of God confirming the blessing on Abraham that Jacob had received from his father Isaac. Both Abraham and Isaac had a personal encounter with God that created the universe, and called them into this walk with Him so that the whole world might know Him through them. Now it is the turn of Jacob to have his own personal encounter with God of his father and grandfather. It is not enough to tell stories of how grandfather Abraham met the LORD or father Isaac heard the LORD speak to him from heaven. This God is a personal God who wants to be identified with as your God. With this encounter, Jacob can relate to the God that appeared to him when he ran from his brother. This was an experience he would never forget. This is what an encounter with God does. It gives you personal conviction that God is REAL. That personal experience is worth more than so many stories handed down from one generation to the other. I am not saying that stories are not okay to be told, but I am saying that your own personal experience have more impact on your life than the stories handed down to you. This encounter with the LORD changed his life completely.
The bible says “Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!” Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. And he called the name of that place, ]Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”
From the scriptures above we could read his new level of commitment not to his father or mother but to the God that appeared to him. He was able to recognize the presence of God in that place, and so he promised to build a house for God, he named the place, Bethel, and vowed to give a tenth of all that God gives to him if God would keep His promises and then this God would be his God.
Brothers and sisters, have you had an encounter with the LORD? This is what you need for your life to become new, and your struggle with sin to be over. To know God intimately and to love Him, you will need an encounter with the LORD. I pray that we will encounter our LORD this year and we will experience His transformation power upon us and we will never remain the same again in Jesus Name. Amen. Stay blessed.