THIS WEEK: Lead Me to the Cross…See the Ladder…Find God & His Promises!
Promises are easy to make.
They are more challenging to carry out.
How many of you parents have made promises to your kids that you failed to follow through on? It pains you when a child says to one of your promises, “It doesn’t matter. It won’t happen anyway.”
Wouldn’t it be great to be completely faithful in following through every one of your promises? It would be. But as human beings it is impossible.
But not for God, the true God.
Jacob, when he was on the run from Esau, gave God many reasons to appear to him and condemn him for his deception and trickery. Yet when God appears in the dream as Jacob is headed to his Uncle Laban, he starts and stays on promises. What we see in this series of promises God gives to Jacob are themes that have some specificity to Jacob, but are similar promises that are real for us today.
Here’s God’s promises to Jacob:
13 There above it [the ladder] 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. 14 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 to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 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)
Now let’s break them apart into seven promises God made to Jacob and makes to us. The first today:
I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. (Genesis 28:13)
God gives Jacob a promise of a “PLACE.” The land on which he was lying would be a place where Jacob and his descendants would live. Granted it would take 100s of years for the promise to be fulfilled when Joshua brought the people of Israel into Canaan after 400 years in Egypt and 40 years in the wilderness.
The promise perhaps sounds odd that God would give land to someone that perhaps technically it didn’t belong to. (How many of you would like someone else giving your house to another person!) However, it reminds us of Psalm 24:1:
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;
God has not promised us a place in the land of Israel (Jacob), but he has promised us a place:
In my Father’s house are many rooms; …I am going there to prepare a place for you. (Jn 14:2)
Jacob was passing through on his journey to Laban. God would eventually give the land he was lying on as a more permanent home for the descendants of Jacob.
We are passing through this world. It is only a temporary resting point until the LORD brings us to the place he has prepared for us in heaven. That is our permanent home.
God’s promised it.
Apply: What changes in your perspective as you think of your home on this earth as temporary and your home in heaven is the place God is preparing for you as your “forever home”?
Prayer; Lord, thank you for your promises and your faithfulness to carry them out. Keep me focused on my permanent home of heaven as the place you have promised to give to me. AMEN.