July 17, 2011
Genesis 28:10-19

“Dad, how much money have you saved so far?” Why was my 4-year-old son Nathan asking me about my bank account?
“What do mean?” I said.

“Because you promised me that when you saved enough money, you would buy me the Transformer robot.” He wasn’t trying to take advantage of Christmas season. He just remembered my promise.

“Well, we still need more money.” I answered, trying to put off fulfilling my promise because that toy robot was expensive. Since that day, Nathan gathered every coin he found in every corner of the house and put them in his gummy bear vitamin bottle. In addition, when we went to the grocery store, he asked me and my wife not to spend much money. My promise dominated Nathan’s way of life. A couple of weeks later, we went together and bought that robot, which was as big as his leg.

What promises dominate your life?

The Company in Our Journey (v. 13)
God’s promise sets up a relationship with us. We call it a covenantal relationship. God declares who He is (v. 13). He says, “I am the God of your father and grandfather.” God wanted Jacob to realize He’s the same God who achieved His promise for Jacob’s forefathers. While Jacob was growing up, he heard stories about his father and grandfather: a story about Abraham being called by God to leave his family; a story about God giving his father a beautiful woman, his mother, Rebecca. Perhaps this afternoon, Jacob would take the same route Abraham took when he left Haran for Canaan (Genesis 12:4-7). God, who was with Abraham on his journey, now accompanied Jacob.

Why are we often moved by the witness of other Christians? Is it because we believe their God is our God, too? God wants to be our God.

The Compass in Our Journey (vv. 13-14)
God’s promise is the compass for our journey. When we believe it, God’s promise will show where we should go. God makes Jacob sure that He who worked for his ancestors will work for him. God applies His faithful promise for Jacob’s forefathers to Jacob, saying, “I will be with you on this journey. I will watch over you. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you!” (v. 15). God focused on Jacob, the recipient of His promise.

Most TV game show winners say they thought winning never would happen to them. They never have dreamed it could be their reality. This is not the case with God’s promises. Paul said, “Many promises God has made; they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. So through Him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God” (2 Corinthians 2).

Response to Our Company (vv. 15-13)
One night a dream helped bring clarity, and Jacob realized the significance of his journey. It is more than a blind date. His journey is a part of God’s plan to achieve His covenant with Jacob’s family. Jacob also realized God had been by his side all along (v. 16) since he was in his mother’s womb (Genesis 25:23).

God had a plan for Jacob. Jacob proclaimed surprise that his chosen bedchamber was a holy place. It is not because the place was a geographically sacred one, but because God was present there. God’s promise changed a stone pillow Jacob picked up the night before into a pillar of God’s house, Bethel (vv. 17, 19).

Jacob responded to God’s presence and promise by worshiping Him. He expressed his fear—in worship. He set up the stone and sanctified it.

We worship God throughout our journey of life. We worship Him in the harsh desert. We worship Him in the green pasture. We worship Him in the valley of darkness, for God is always with us.

God initiates the journey to fulfill His promise and leads us toward His plan for our lives. Just as God’s promise changed Jacob’s mind and direction, we all are taking a journey. In this lifetime of travel, we need to know God is walking with us in our every step. God never will leave us until His plan for us is done and we return to our eternal home.

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