Genesis 28:10-22

 |  April 9, 2018

Gen. 28:10-22

  1. Locate the passage

Jacob has left home. He had never in his life been alone, not even in the womb. Now, having left home by himself he meets the Lord who says to him, “I am with you.”

  1. Genre

The passage is narrative. The Divine conversation is one-directional. The Lord spoke to Jacob. Jacob responds with recognition and worship.

  1. Determine the structure of the passage

28:10-11 – Jacob settled in a “certain” place

28:12-16 – Jacob hears from the Lord in a dream

28:17-22 – Jacob vows to worship the Lord

  1. Exegete the passage

The alone-ness of Jacob and the kind assuring presence of the Lord stand out in the text. The comforting message of the Lord’s presence (“I am with you”) overshadows Jacob’s loneliness. Note, that the first request that Jacob makes of God is that “God will be with me.” Indeed, as we track the subsequent events of Jacob’s life, not only can we see the evidence of Divine presence in Jacob’s life and the fulfillment of God’s promise, but we also realize that only God’s direct intervention in Jacob’s life could accomplish the events that are about to unfold.

Allen Ross highlights the significance of this encounter for Jacob noting how the “place became a shrine, a stone became an altar, and a fugitive became a pilgrim.”[1]Allen P. Ross, “Studies in the life of Jacob, pt 1: Jacob’s vision: the founding of Bethel,” Bibliotheca Sacra 142, no. 567 (1985): 224-237.

28:11 – “A certain place”

28:12 – In his dream, Jacob saw a “ladder” on the earth and ascending into Heaven

28:13 – The Lord stood above the ladder.

28:13 – I am the Lord

28:14-15 – Your descendants will be as the “dust”

28:16 – The unspoken reality of too many in the church today is being unwittingly in presence of the Lord

28:17 – “Awesome … house of God … gate of Heaven”

28:18 – The stone, which Jacob used to mark the place where he slept

28:20-22 – Jacob’s vow to the Lord

  1. Let the structure of the text drive the sermon

Exp. This passage reveals the significance of recognizing God’s presence and accessing God’s presence through prayer, reverence, devotion, and worship

Exp. Any place can become the “house of God” and anywhere God is, is Holy Ground

Ill. David said in Ps. 16:8 (Cf. Acts 2:25), “I have set the Lord always at my face” in recognition of the omnipresence of the Lord and need for my perpetual acknowledgement of Him

App. Indeed, David affirmed, that “because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.”

References   [ + ]

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