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Genesis 28

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Have no fear...God is here.

The Lord is with us.
The Lord protects us.
The Lord is preparing us.
The Lord is full of grace.
1. The Lord protects us.
2. The Lord is preparing us.
3. The Lord is praiseworthy.

Have no fear...God is here.

Illus: Pirate Dog, Baseball.
Philippines 9/11
Jacob has made some poor choices and now finds himself fleeing the Promise Land and his family and going to a place he has never been.
Because of his actions his brother wants to kill him and he will never see his mother again.
The tension rises even more in this text today because Jacob comes to a certain place that is desolate and there is no one to house him for the evening.
Worried about Esau or something else getting him, Jacob makes camp for the night and places his head on a stone. That’s when the most frightening thing that could happen unfolds. God shows up. The Lord is with us. He is not a distant God. He has no wound up the earth like a clock and let it go. He is active a present.
A. Ross notes the importance of our passage, showing “how a place became a shrine, a stone became an altar, and a fugitive became a pilgrim—God in His grace revealed Himself to Jacob in that place.”
By the events of 28: 10–22, the author establishes Jacob's continuity with the patriarchal promises (vv. 13–15) and proclaims the Lord's perfect grace, despite Jacob's scandalous behavior (chap. 27).
Ever since A/E fell in the garden we have been looking for a Savior. For the seed of the woman. Noah—Abraham—Isaac—Jacob.

1. The Lord protects us. 10-13

Haran—Moses is drawing our attention to Abraham and the promises made to him.
Jacob will have to travel about 500 miles which will take him about a month to complete.
He arrives at “the place” mentioned 3 times because of its significance.
In his exhaustion he falls asleep. Then he dreams.
Crazy Dreams where I know I am dreaming.
Stairway/Ladder between Heaven and Earth.
Jacob sees angels going up and down the ladder, showing their activity and presence on the earth.
The ladder it the means of mediation. And the Lord stands at the top of the ladder. He is present throughout the earth.
***Note the similarity with the story of Babel***
Babel represents all religions outside of Christianity in which it is taught you can make it to God.
In Babel the people wanted to reach the heavens instead of obeying God. In fact God had told them to fill the earth and they disobeyed and tried to build their own kingdom.
Christianity is the only religion that says you cannot get to God…but He has come down to us.
JACOB has been in fear…now he must think that the Lord has found him and that he will be doomed.
That’s what he deserves. But God is merciful.
God is also gracious.
He sees angels coming up and down because they are present on the earth and they will be with him and protect him. Listen to...
Psalm 91:11–12 CSB
For he will give his angels orders concerning you, to protect you in all your ways. They will support you with their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
We may not see the warfare going on around us. But Paul makes it clear that we war not against flesh and blood…but against principalities and spirits. There are angels all around and we don’t even know it.
Most importantly, Jacob sees the Lord at the top of the ladder.
He is sovereign over all of the earth and he is with us. We know this supreme in the revelation of Jesus Christ who took on flesh.
John 1:43–51 CSB
The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. He found Philip and told him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the hometown of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the law (and so did the prophets): Jesus the son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Nathanael asked him. “Come and see,” Philip answered. Then Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said about him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you,” Jesus answered. “Rabbi,” Nathanael replied, “You are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel!” Jesus responded to him, “Do you believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than this.” Then he said, “Truly I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
Notice the reference to angels descending and ascending but that the ladder/stairway is not present.
Jesus is saying to us that HE is ladder. He is the link betwen heaven and earth!!
This is why Jesus can absolutely say
John 14:6 CSB
Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Jesus is the way to God. He is the mediator between God and mankind.
1 Timothy 2:5 CSB
For there is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus,
We know that God is with us and that we should have no fear because Jesus is here.
Notice that not only is the Lord with us…not only does He protect us…he is preparing us.

2. The Lord is preparing us. 14-15

So often we feel as if we are inadequate, that there is no way that God can use us to do great things. This is when we must submit to the authority and truth of the Bible over and above our own fears and thoughts on this life.
God uses broken people, sinful people, to do amazing things.
Jacob has done absolutely nothing to earn this favor that God has shown him. NEITHER HAVE YOU. No one has.
Not only is the Lord with Jacob in the desert…He will be with him wherever He goes. he is not limited to one area like all the other deities of the ANE.
Jacob is without a wife…and yet here it is clear, God will provide a wife for him. Here Jacob is without children and yet it is clear, He will have children.
While Jacob hopes to flee from his brother for just a few days…it will be 20 years before he returns home.
God promises 1. He is with Jacob. And he will be with Jacob wherever he goes.
2. God will also protect Jacob where he goes.
Psalm 121:7–8 CSB
The Lord will protect you from all harm; he will protect your life. The Lord will protect your coming and going both now and forever.
Psalm 121:
3. The Lord will bring Jacob back. Important to remember seeing how long Jacob is gone. He will not come home until the Lord tells him too.
4. The Lord’s promises will go beyond Jacob.
Jacob doesn’t deserve any of this but God is a god of grace and mercy.

3. The Lord is praiseworthy. He is full of Grace 16-22.

Jacob awakens in fear. RIGHT FEAR. He has heard the Lord speak and he believes.
Fear that leads to worship.
He rightly declares that God is present on the earth. Bethel means house of God.
He vows that based on the reality that God is with him, He will praise him and serve him and will dedicate this place to the Lord. He will tithe even though at the moment he has nothing.
1 Peter 2:3–5 CSB
if you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone—rejected by people but chosen and honored by God—you yourselves, as living stones, a spiritual house, are being built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Jacob goes from grabber and deceiver and thief…to believer and tither.
Hebrews 13:5 CSB
Keep your life free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for he himself has said, I will never leave you or abandon you.
Matthew 28:20 CSB
teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
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