I recently posted a blog titled ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ exploring our journey when loneliness and helplessness is the path we sometimes walk. Allow me if you will to recycle a portion “…in our humanity at one time or another we will all travel difficult roads that take us through challenge, paths that we walk where we hope that someone is watching over us, streets that we go down where we hope to not walk alone.”
Enter a man named Jacob who we also know as Israel. A biblical patriarch who made a covenant with God and whose life and narrative leaves so many lessons. But, he wasn’t always great – the story starts in Genesis 27 when Jacob and his mother Rebekah plot to swindle and steal an inheritance. Long story short Jacob has to do the Harry Holt and run from his brother Esau who is big, angry and short of his first born promise.
In the middle of his exodus Jacob makes camp somewhere between Beersheba and Harran. Taking rest, he has a dream that sets his course in a significant way – “There above stood the LORD, and he said: “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Genesis 28:13-15
What a moment! Jacob is in the middle of a self-inflicted mess, trouble caused by his own hand that sees him running towards an uncertain future, and then God speaks! God outlines a future and a hope, and an expected end (Jeremiah 29:11) covered by grace and blessing. Jacob’s future is assured though not without challenge and trial, his life is now carefully placed in the palm of God’s hand.
I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you and you will never walk alone.
As Jacob wakes from his sleep he makes a statement that captures me every time I read it, verse 16 “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”