Peter Barnes: Genesis 28:10-22
SERMON NOTES : A VISION OF GOD (Genesis 28:10-22)
Jacob had the promises of God, but his own sins had brought him to a low point in his life.
- Heaven meets earth.
– 28:10-11; a trip of about 45 miles (perhaps two days).
– 28:12; see John 1:51. Elizabeth Clephane wrote of this:
As to the holy patriarch/ That wondrous dream was given,
So seems my Saviour’s cross to me -/ A ladder up to heaven.
We are not alone in a dark universe.
- God’s covenant promises are reaffirmed.
– 28:13-15. God identifies Himself as the God of Abraham and of Isaac, and He repeats His promises:
(a) the land (28:13b). Jacob was fleeing this land, but God’s promise would not fail.
(b) many descendants (28:14a). Jacob would become the father of the twelve patriarchs of Israel.
(c) world-wide blessing (28:14b).
– Luke 22:20. Every Lord’s Supper we reaffirm the new covenant in the blood of Christ.
- Jacob bargains with God.
– 28:16-17, 18-19; fear, awe and worship. ‘Bethel’ means ‘House of God’
– 28:20-22. Many have tried to interpret it along the lines of ‘Since God will do all these things for me, I must respond with obedience and faith.’ J. Douglas MacMillan thinks that this is Jacob’s conversion.
In 1505 Martin Luther was walking to the Saxon village of Stotternheim when a terrible storm broke and knocked Luther to the ground. He cried out: ‘St Anne, help me. I will become a monk.’ But we are not to bargain with God – Isa. 55:1.