Promises

February 1, 2018

Genesis 28:15… Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.

            Yesterday, I had a thought that I wanted to preach about Jacob’s ladder, so I made a plan to read about it. I had no idea that I would read it this morning as part of my daily reading schedule. But, there it was, and I read it, looking for a nugget that I could teach. Verse 15, above, spoke to me so I am writing about it. I don’t yet know if I will ever preach it; that is up to God.

            The first thing I noticed is God’s endearing promise; “I am with you and will keep you wherever you go.”  The second half of the promise reminds me of Jesus’ words, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” God told Jacob, after his dream about the ladder, “I will not leave you until I have done what I promised you.”  Jesus tells us, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” God’s promise reminds us of the importance of His words… “Until I have done what I promised you.” Jesus’ words carry the same promise. Since His words say “forever” rather than “until” , we have His unchanging promise. The only way Jesus’ promise is true is if He is with us forever. That is awesome and a bit frightening.

Verse 16… Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely, the Lord is in this place and I did not know it.” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place. This is none other than the house of God and this is the gate of heaven.”

            One of Jacob’s first reactions was fear. In this morning’s reading I also read Psalms 31 and I recall it saying something about fear of the Lord. I shall now check it out…

Psalms 31:19… Oh how abundant is your goodness which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you.

            God’s abundant goodness is stored up for those who fear Him. But, notice the second part… God’s goodness works for those who take refuge in Him. This helps our understanding of ‘fear of the lord’. It is not fear that makes us want to get away from Him. It says, rather, “He is so awesome, I want to stay real close.”

 As Christians, we are descendents of Jacob and heirs of this promise. Awesome!