10 Meanwhile, Jacob left Beersheba and travelled toward Haran. 11 At sundown he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night. Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep. 12 As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway.
13 At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. 14 Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. 15 What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”
16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” 17 But he was also afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!” (Gen. 28:10-16).
In the above text we read about Jacob travelling to fetch a wife from amongst his relatives who were living 500 miles from his home in Beersheba. He had a dream and in it he was promised the same blessings that God had given to Abraham, his grandfather. He was astounded to realise that God had been present with him in that lonely and isolated place.
When we believe in Jesus we are reckoned as the same offspring of Abraham:
29 And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. (Gal. 3:29).
To be clear - we have inherited those very same promises. We are regarded by God as children of Abraham.
We journey through life as children of the patriarch, and encounter God over and over again but how many of those times when we meet God do we recognise His presence? Jacob missed it -- we do, too. How many times are we totally oblivious to His presence?
Like Jacob, we are never alone and isolated and God is present with us wherever we journey in life. Like Jacob we may be totally ignorant of His presence until we have an actual encounter. We do not have to experience the terror, reverence and solemnity of encountering God like Jacob did but we can rest assured that God is with us every step of our travels through this life.
With thanks to my beloved, Pete Trott, whose thoughts led to this blog.
All quotes from the NLT