Isaac agreed to send Jacob away to Rebekah’s family to find a wife (which in turn would save him from the murderous wrath of his cheated brother, Esau). Before Jacob left, Isaac imparted another blessing upon him. “‘And may God Almighty bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. May He also give you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your descendants with you; that you may possess the land of your sojournings, which God gave to Abraham.'” ~ Genesis 28:3-4
Jacob had received all of the blessings of their father and had persuaded Esau to give him his birthright. Now he was being sent away to take a wife from their mother’s family, so that he wouldn’t take a wife from the unbelieving people who lived around them. Esau was not a happy camper. So, to hurt his father, Isaac, Esau took ANOTHER wife, this time from the tribes of Ishmael.
Now remember, Esau was Isaac’s favorite son. Yet, Esau deliberately hurt his father. Why do we strike out to hurt someone who loves us when we have been hurt? Our pastor has warned us that we need to not REACT to situations around us, but to CHOOSE to ACT in the appropriate manner. Our sin nature naturally wants to react in a foolish way, hurting others and making stupid decisions. And oh, how easy that is!
On the long journey to Haran, Jacob had a dream. “…and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, ‘I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants. Your descendants shall also be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And 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 28:12-15
Wow! I love this picture, and this promise. We are told that these are specifically the angels of GOD; another reminder that not all angels are heavenly. God stood above the ladder, and He spoke to Jacob and introduced Himself as “the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac”.
Remember in Genesis 27, Jacob referred to the LORD as “your God” when talking to his father. He had not yet chosen the LORD as his own God. Then God gives him the promise He gave to Abraham, that his descendants shall be “like the dust of the earth”, and that “all the families of the earth shall be blessed” in them. And then, God added the most beautiful promise.
“I am with you, and will keep you wherever you go…for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Jacob had not yet chosen God as his own, yet God had already chosen him as HIS own.
We are told at the end of the chapter that Jacob makes a vow to God: “‘If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the LORD will be my God…and of all that Thou dost give me I will surely give a tenth to Thee.'” ~Genesis 28:20-22
Jacob decided that if God was truly faithful and kept His promise to Him to be with him and not leave, then he would choose the LORD as his own God.
Children must choose to take the faith of their parents and make it their own, or not. My prayer is that all of our children would choose the LORD as their own God.
Have you chosen Him as your God? He is faithful and will always keep His promises, as we are shown throughout the Bible time and time again. 🙂 And He will never leave you.