There is a process described in this chapter. It seems like the process of coming to know God. Let’s take a look together.
Running for his life under the false pretense of finding a wife, Jacob is alone with time to contemplate all that happened recently. Alone on his way to his uncle’s Jacob has a dream.
Genesis 28:13-15 NKJV “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.””
This may be Jacob’s first encounter with God. Oh sure, he probably heard his dad, Isaac, praying many times before. This was different. This was so real, so personal and vivid. It caused a change in Jacob.
On The Run
Did you notice how the first part of the process? Jacob was on the run. He was out of his comfort zone. Things transpired that forced him to leave his home. All the distractions of every day life were temporarily on hold.
He had time to reflect. The Bible doesn’t tell us what he thought about, but we could guess. He could have thought about stealing his brother’s birthright or manipulating his dying father or how his brother now wanted to kill him. Being alone causes us to think.
Awareness of God
Genesis 28:16-17 NKJV “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!””
Did you see the next step in the process? Notice how Jacob didn’t realize God was near? Recognition of God’s presence is the next step. Do we realize God is always near? Or do we operate like He is far away? God is always with us. All we need to do is seek Him and He will make Himself known.
Time to Worship
Genesis 28:18-19 NKJV “Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously.”
The third part of this process is reverence and worship. Notice how Jacob worshiped the Lord. Through this encounter Jacob recognized his own sin and starting seeing God’s presence. This led him to worship God by setting up the pillar and calling the place “Bethel.” which means house of God. Have you noticed how reverence and worship follow your own encounter with God?
The last step in this process is a personal commitment. Look at Genesis 28:20-22 NKJV:
“Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.””
Notice how Jacob made a vow to the Lord after his experience? Notice how an encounter with God compels you to want to give back to Him. After your own experience with God, what vow did you make?
In summary the process of coming to the Lord may contain the following steps:
- Time alone to think about our sin
- Recognition of God’s Presence
- Reverence and worship of God
- A personal commitment to God
How about you? Did your journey to the Lord follow similar steps as these? Rejoice with me as we celebrate God. He is the God of order and not chaos. He is a loving and tender God who leads us gently to the place where we will trust Him.
Lord God Almighty, thank you for leading us gently to you. Thank you for opening our eyes to our sin and to your mercy through Jesus Christ’s forgiveness of our sins. Thank you for always being near. You deserve all worship and honor. Help us take the next step in committing our lives to you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.