I read a comment recently that God`s presence is always with us, but how sensitive are we to His presence? There are times when God seems to grab our attention and we are much more open to His voice. But at other times our senses seem to be dulled to His voice. Jacob was having to escape from his elder brother Esau when he had an amazing experience with the Lord.
God spoke to him in a dream. He saw the angels and God Himself on a ladder from earth to heaven. God said, "I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth 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 promised you" (Genesis 28:13-15).
Jacob must have heard how God had spoken to his grandfather, Abraham, calling him to leave his own land and relatives and go to somewhere new. Then God had promised to bring a blessing to the whole earth through Abraham`s descendants. His grandmother, Sarah, then miraculously conceived when she was past the age of child bearing.
Then Jacob must have heard how his father Isaac had also heard God speaking to him and confirming the same promises, and how God had arranged for Rebecca to be his bride in a miraculous way.
Jacob`s father and grandfather were men of faith, close to God. They prayed and God answered their prayers. But now Jacob was to have his own special time of hearing those promises. He would never forget this dream, and I`m sure he would tell it to his own sons one day.
Whenever God spoke personally to Abraham or to Isaac they responded in practical ways. They built special altars to mark the exact spot where God had met with them, making sacrifices and worshipping God, declaring the place to be set apart and consecrated. Then they obeyed the instructions God gave to them.
So Jacob knew what to do when he woke up. He declared the place to be holy and called it God`s house. `So early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it`… `Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father`s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God`s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you"` (Genesis 28:18, and 20-22).
Prayer: Father God, may we be sensitive to Your presence with us and open to hear You speaking to us. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, we know we can experience Your Holy Spirit wherever we go and we can choose to sanctify and bless the place where we live or spend our time working or studying. Help us, as we go about our everyday lives, to not forget that You are always with us, and may we be receptive to Your voice. Amen.
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