Fleeing to Haran, Jacob traveled to escape from his brother Esau who had vowed to kill him. The first day of the journey, Jacob traveled a little over 40 miles through the central highlands of Canaan before stopping for the night. Even if riding a camel, the distance required a strenuous day of travel. Exhausted, Jacob fell asleep; and then God appeared to him in a dream:
Genesis 28:10-17 (emphasis added)
“Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: ‘I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. 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 spoken to you.’
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!’”
While we mostly focus on the rock Jacob used as a pillow or his dream about the ladder stretching to heaven, we tend to ignore the fact that God confirmed the Abrahamic Covenant to Jacob and his descendants that night.
God assured care regardless of Jacob’s location and promised that He would ultimately bring him safely back to the land promised to his forefathers.
God kept his promise; Jacob did return with his family some 20 years later.
Significantly, God’s promise to bring Jacob back to the land is the precedent reiterated throughout Scripture and encapsulated in the Land-Grant Covenant (Deut. 30:1-9). (1)
No matter how far away or how long Israel has been removed from the land, God has always returned His Chosen People to the place He promised Abraham, Isaac and the descendants of Jacob forever (Jer. 7:7).
1) The Land-Grant Covenant is still viable today and validates the existence of the modern state of Israel.
1) Bible opened to Isaiah. By Ken Horn, [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
2) Ezra Orion sculpture: Sulam Ya’akov. By zeevveez from Jerusalem, Israel [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
3) Sulam Ya’akov (Jacob’s Ladder) sculpture by Ezra Orion in Givat Mordechai, Jerusalem, Israel. By Gila Brand [CC BY 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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