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The Lord Is in this Place

June 24th, 2014

When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”

Genesis 28:16

This little gem of Scripture teaches us a truth that we should always keep before us – God is with His people. Those who have trusted in Christ, who have heard His eternal call through the gospel to believe and receive Christ, have this reality in our lives from now on, as our Lord said, “Behold, I am with you always to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

Jacob, after his father Jacob’s death, fled from his brother Esau in fear of his life. His mother Rebekah sent him to her brother Laban, to live and to work, as a safe harbor. She was also, undoubtedly, so displeased with the choices of wives that Esau had made – he had married two Hittite women who were idol worshipers – that she also took comfort in the thought of Jacob, her favorite, finding a wife among her own people.

But these human inter-connections could not have supplied Jacob with the true peace and sense of calling that his soul required. God gave him a special revelation one night as he slept with his head upon a stone. The image was of a staircase or of a ladder between earth and heaven, and angels descending and ascending – coming and going – from heaven to earth. The Bible teaches us that angels are “ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation” (Heb 1:14), so what could this mean other than that the angels were coming to this earth with a mission from God and returning to heaven to report to Him.

As with many things in Scripture, this image conveys an important thought and we should be careful not to limit its meaning to us by the impression given in some Renaissance painting we might have seen. “Ladders” and “staircases” are not the important matters, but rather the thought that God is active in this world.

God reaffirmed His call and purpose for Jacob: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac” (Gen. 28:13). In our hearts the Spirit also witnesses to us and He identifies Himself to us as our Savior, and as our Lord. He assures us of His love and presence, of the plans He has for us, and of the hope He has called us to. Paul wrote to the Ephesians, zealous for their spiritual progress, and assured them of God’s plan for them. He prayed that they “might know Him better” and that “the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you” (Eph. 1:17-18).

In your situation now, let the Lord speak to you through His Word and by His Spirit. Quiet your heart before Him and realize that He is in that place, that He is with you His child, and that He has a high purpose for you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. You will never be alone. Let God assure you today of this truth.

Gleanings from Genesis , ,