– GEN.28:16-22 – When Jacob awoke from his dream, he said, “Yahweh is here! He is in this place and I didn’t realize it!” Terrified and overwhelmed he said, “How awesome is this place! I have stumbled right into the house of God! This place is a portal, the very gate of heaven!” Early in the morning, Jacob took the stone he had under his head, set it up as a pillar and anointed it by pouring oil over the top of it. He named that place Bethel; though the city was once called Luz. Then Jacob committed himself to God, saying, “If you will always be with me and protect me on this long journey, and if you give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, and if I return safely to my father’s house, then Yahweh, you will be my God! See! I have set up this sacred stone pillar and it will be your house, God. I promise to set aside a tenth of all that you give me as my gift to you.”
I came to the conclusion a number of years ago that God has no grandchildren. In other words every generation has to know God for themselves. In today’s passage we meet the patriarch Jacob. Jacob had quite a heritage if you stop and think about it. His grandfather was Abraham and his father was Isaac. I wonder how many times he had heard the story about Jehovah Jireh and Jacob’s grandfather preparing to sacrifice his father as an offering on Mount Moriah. I wonder what it was like to hear Abraham’s version compared to Isaac’s version. But to Jacob these were just stories that happened a long time ago and didn’t really relate to Jacob’s life in the here and now. All of that changed suddenly the night Jacob was all alone in the wilderness, literally running for his life. Jacob had to leave the comfort and security of his home and found himself out in the desert all alone. At least he thought he was all alone until the Lord showed up that night. Jacob had a dream and he knew immediately it was more than a dream. God was in that place and now Abraham and Isaac’s God was also the God of Jacob. Jacob would learn to walk by faith like Abraham and Isaac had. Jacob would learn to trust God for all things for himself.
This story is about provision and tithing and looking to the Lord as your source for all things. Just like all those who have gone before us we too have to be brought to the end of ourselves that we can know God and trust God like Abraham. I love the way the Lord referred to Himself in the Old Testament, “I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”. Today he has become my God too.