Thursday 28 January 2016
Thursday word from Genesis 56
'And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, “Jacob! Jacob!”
“Here I am,” he replied.' Genesis 46:2
Although anxious to see his son Joseph, when Jacob reaches Beersheba he stops. It is where, years before, his grandfather, Abraham had called on the name of God, (21:33) , and later, his father Isaac had built an altar to God and called upon his name (Genesis 26:25). It is also the place where Jacob had a dream of a stairway between heaven and earth with angels ascending and descending, and God spoke to him, (Genesis 28: 10-15). After the dream he thought to himself, 'Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.' (v 16). It was the place where God had told Jacob, '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.' (28:15).
Consequently, one can understand why that place was so special to Jacob. Arriving there, he offered sacrifices to God on the altar his father had built, and as he drew near to God, God drew near to him. What is it that James 4:8 says? 'Come near to God and he will come near to you.' That is how God is and ever has been. He draws near to those who draw near to him. He responds to those who desire his company. Back in 2 Chronicles 15:2 we read 'The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you.'
'Jacob, Jacob,' God called. Having got his attention, God assured Jacob once again of his company and care, and repeated the promise he made when last they met there, that he would bring him back again to Canaan, adding that Joseph would close his eyes. Reassured and encouraged by God, I am sure Jacob was able to go to Egypt with much more confidence and peace. May we never be so busy, so pre-occupied, (even in our service or ministry activity), not to be able to stop and worship and seek and find that self-same closeness with God.