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Genesis 28 English Standard Version (ESV)

Jacob’s Dream

10 Jacob left Beersheba and went toward Haran. 11 And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. 12 And he dreamed, and behold, there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it! 13 And behold, the Lord stood above it and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. The land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. 14 Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.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.” 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” 17 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.”

18 So early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. 19 He called the name of that place Bethel, t the name of the city was Luz at the first. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, 21 so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, 22 and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house. And of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.”



Having duped his father, stolen the blessing, Jacob ran from the rage of his brother.  At sunset, he camped out at “a certain place” (v11).  The Bible indicated that it was an ordinary place named Luz, but it became Bethel – House of God.  House of God, where we encounter God and establish relationship with God, can be an ordinary place.  House of God, also represents God’s abundant blessing, which cannot be obtained through our diligent planning, but was given by God according to His will.  God unexpectedly appeared to Jacob under a circumstance that is beyond his control – a dream, God stood beside him and talked with him and made the ancestral promise to Jacob directly.

We’ve been taught to calculate, plan, invest, and compete.  The world tells us that it is smart to use the least resources to gain the most profit.  Therefore, we continue to calculate and plan.  Like Jacob, we want to have control of everything.  But God has a way of overthrowing our plans.  He would bless us in the most ordinary thing at a most unexpected time.

Have you ever thought that God will continue to bless you even if your company forecloses?  That God wants to meet with you and establish a deeper relationship with you through an unexpected event?

Have you had such experiences?  What is your “Bethel” where you met God?  How did you feel?  How has this experience changed you?