Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com
Genesis 28:10-19 (NIV)
Jacob’s Dream at Bethel
10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it 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.” 16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” 18 Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.
Jacob is the third generation, the son of Isaac. Again, in the midst of confusion and transition, God speaks and reassures his chosen people that he has a plan and will provide. Our God is faithful. And, again, we see repeated, the promise that it is not only the people of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that will be blessed. God promises, “in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed”. That’s where you and I come in! God has been at work since the beginning of time, making sure that his people – all people – would be welcomed into a covenant relationship with God; not by force or coercion, but by grace and invitation. God has set this up so that you and I would be welcomed in, from the very beginning.