October 1, 2017
He was on a journey of discovery. He didn’t ask for this particular route, but it was forced upon him as the cost of the transacted birthright. In his time away from home he would see things unimaginable, witness heavenly powers beyond this world, come to love a woman that would make him a relative slave to another man; he would wrestle with himself in times of discouragement, he would wrestle with his carnal father in law over shifting wages and he would wrestle with an angel in desperation that would lead to unmatched empowerment. His course would be changed; his history would give way to a more important future; his name would become the national identity of the Promised Land. Did he know these things when he took his first anxious steps away from Momma Rebekkah’s protective schemes? Did he know the sands of today’s desert would lead to tomorrow’s river bank of divine revelation? Did he know that pillars and ladders, anointed stones and rolled away stones, confrontations with an elder brother and an upfront face to face battle with an extraterrestrial was in his journey? How often did he want to quit? How often was he tempted to forsake his place in the triumvirate description of God to future generations, for he would be graciously identified among the Patriarchal greats when God would introduce Himself to future leaders, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
Yes, when Jacob lay on the hard ground of dreams, he experienced something that would change his life. God became more than a distant figure of his father’s and grandfather’s personal encounters. He heard him speak. He saw the congested ladder trafficked by otherworldly beings. He made his own covenant of Rock and oil, committing himself to an adventurous trail, which beyond moments of heartbreak and betrayal, would bring him back to this place; to this experience.
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.
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 32:24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.
Gen 35:1 And God said unto Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make there an altar unto God, that appeared unto thee when thou fleddest from the face of Esau thy brother.
Gen 35:2 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments:
Gen 35:3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.
His experience gave him endurance. He didn’t see a ladder every day, but having seen it once he could never forget it; he could never forsake it. He didn’t wrestle with an angel every night and have such a glorious outcome, but having done it one time, having experienced a face to face match with heaven, he could never get over it, and limped with the evidence of a Divine touch for the rest of his life. He had an experience, but he also had endurance…Listen now.