Genesis 28:16: “Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.'”

July 12th, 2019 by Pastor Ed in devotional

After Jacob stole his brother Esau’s blessing from their father Isaac, Esau wanted to kill Jacob. To save him, Rebekah sent Jacob to her brother Laban, promising to send for him once Esau calmed down. So Jacob set out on the 450-mile run from Esau. He made it about 70 miles, when he needed sleep. He set up camp in a “certain place.” There was nothing particularly special or holy about the place; it was just a place with dirt and stones. Jacob had no reason to expect anything unusual. However, soon after he fell asleep, with his head on a rock, God came and spoke to him in a spectacular dream.

In this story we find 2 important spiritual principles that are often repeated throughout the Bible:

1) God often shows up at unexpected times and in unexpected places. It may be in the shower, during the drive home from work, or when you’re cooking dinner. We should be glad that God is not limited to showing up at only so-called spiritual places, such as church buildings. God visited and encouraged Jacob through a special dream in an ordinary place.

2) God is present and active even when we are unaware of him. In his dream, Jacob saw a stairway going from earth to heaven, with angels going between the 2 realms, with the Lord at the top. Jacob understood the dream to mean that there is access to God. The Lord wanted to affirm to Jacob that He was present and active in his life. Most of us will not have special dreams like Jacob did, but God’s word promises us that He is present and active even when we are unaware of Him.

Jacob’s sin had caused him to run for his life and face frightening circumstances. But God’s grace chased him down, found him, and embraced him. Every one of us will face uncertain times in our life, but by faith we know that God is with us and for us today. Expect the unexpected. Even if you are running from Him, expect Him, in His grace, to chase you down because of His great love toward you.

“Thank you, LORD, that You are the Good Shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine to fine the one lost sheep.”