Jacob Leaves to Find His Future

Scripture Passage: 
Genesis 28:1-22

INTRODUCTION:  Jacob has had it easy up to now.  He has lived as a plain man in the tents (Genesis 25:27).  He has been his mother’s favorite (Genesis 25:28). He has purchased his brother’s birthright and tricked him out of his blessing (Genesis 27:35-36).  But now, his life of trickery begins to catch up with him.  He must flee the country for his life’s sake and go 500 miles from home.  Before God is through with Jacob, a “few days” (Genesis 27:44) will become 20 years and his beloved mother will die before he ever gets to see her again.  Yet, God is working.  In this lesson, Jacob takes a major step toward spiritual maturity.  He will have far to go but he will be a better man for the experience in this chapter.

  1. THE VALUE OF SEPARATION (Genesis 28:1-9)
    1. Isaac’s Charge to Jacob (Genesis 28:1-2)
      1. Avoid the daughters of Canaan (Genesis 28:1).
      2. Go to your mother’s family (Genesis 28:2a).
      3. Take a wife of the daughters of Laban (Genesis 28:2b).
    2. Isaac’s Blessing of Jacob (Genesis 28:3-4; Hebrews 11:20)
      1. The blessing of a seed (Genesis 28:3)
        1. God Almighty bless thee.
        2. Make thee fruitful
        3. Multiply thee
        4. That thou mayest be a multitude of people
      2. The blessing of a land (Genesis 28:4)
    3. Isaac’s Sending of Jacob (Genesis 28:5)
    4. Esau’s Imitation of Jacob (Genesis 28:6-9)
      1. Esau observes (Genesis 28:6-8).
        1. Jacob’s blessing (Genesis 28:6)
        2. Jacob’s obedience (Genesis 28:7)
        3. Isaac’s displeasure with Esau’s wives (Genesis 28:8)
      2. Esau marries of the daughters of Ishmael (Genesis 28:9).
        1. Adding tolerable to bad
        2. Coming halfway in order to please
  2. GOD’S VOICE IN SOLITUDE (Genesis 28:10-15)
    1. Jacob Stops to Rest (Genesis 28:10-11).
      1. The trip from Beersheba to Haran was about 500 miles and would have taken several weeks to complete.
      2. Bethel is about 70 miles north of Beersheba.  Even with a donkey or camel, it would have taken about three days to get that far.
    2. Jacob Dreams of a Ladder (Genesis 28:12-13a).
      1. This was a dream rather than a vision.
        1. Dreams
          1. Definition: a vision that comes when one is asleep (Genesis 20:3; Genesis 46:2)
            1. Used to reveal the secrets of God (Daniel 2:28)
            2. Often had to be interpreted (Daniel 2:29-30)
          2. May be visual (Genesis 28:12) or verbal (Genesis 31:24) or both
        2. Visions
          1. Definition: a visual revelation to one who is awake
          2. A way for God to make Himself known (Numbers 12:6; Ezekiel 1:1)
        3. The ladder is set on earth.
        4. The ladder reached to heaven.
        5. The ladder had angels ascending and descending on it.
        6. The Lord stood at the top of the ladder.
        7. The ladder is a type of Jesus Christ (John 1:51).
          1. He is set on earth in His humanity.
          2. He reaches to heaven in His deity.
          3. He connects the two in His ascending and descending.
          4. He satisfies the demands of God at the top (Isaiah 53:10-11).
    3. Jacob Hears the Lord (Genesis 28:13b-15).
      1. The identity of the Lord (Genesis 28:13)
      2. God’s sevenfold promise to Jacob (Genesis 28:13-15)
        1. The promise of the land (Genesis 28:13)
        2. The promise of the seed (Genesis 28:14)
        3. The promise of a blessing (Genesis 28:14)
        4. The promise of God’s presence (Genesis 28:15 – “with thee”)
        5. The promise of God’s protection (Genesis 28:15 – “will keep thee”)
        6. The promise of God’s guidance (Genesis 28:15 – “will bring thee again”)
        7. The promise of God’s preservation (Genesis 28:15 – “for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of”)
  3. JACOB’S VOW OF SURRENDER (Genesis 28:16-22)
    1. Jacob Draws Some Conclusions (Genesis 28:16-17).
      1. The Lord is in this place (Genesis 28:16).
        1. “I knew it not.”
        2. So many times we do not know when God is in something that we are going through.
      2. This is a dreadful place (Genesis 28:17).
        1. God’s power and presence brings fear to man.
        2. Yet, this fear can cause man to serve with greater conviction and obedience (Job 28:28; Psalm 111:10; Psalm 112:1).
      3. This is the house of God (Genesis 28:17).
      4. This is the gate of heaven (Genesis 28:17).
    2. Jacob Dedicates the Place to God (Genesis 28:18-19).
      1. The pillar (Genesis 28:18)
        1. He sets up the pillar.
        2. He anoints it with oil.
      2. He renames the place (Genesis 28:19).
        1. From Luz
        2. To Bethel (meaning house of God)
    3. Jacob Makes a Vow to God (Genesis 28:20-22).
      1. God’s part (Genesis 28:20-21a)
        1. To be with Jacob
        2. To keep Jacob
        3. To sustain Jacob
        4. To bring Jacob back home in peace
      2. Jacob’s part (Genesis 28:21b-22)
        1. He will claim the Lord as his God.
        2. He will establish Bethel as God’s house.
        3. He will give a tenth of his goods to God (this is the second mention of tithing in the Bible – Genesis 14:20).

CONCLUSION:  Just as God worked with Jacob in order to bring him to where He wanted him, so God works in our lives in the same way.  What life changing experiences have you gone through?  What is God trying to do in your life right now?

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 23:4

Labour not to be rich: cease from thine own wisdom.