Being & Building Followers & Friends of Jesus
Jacob went out from Beersheba and traveled toward Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed the night there, because the sun had set. He took a stone from the place, put it under his head and lay down there to sleep. He dreamt that there before him was a ladder resting on the ground with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of ADONAI were going up and down on it. Then suddently ADONAI was standing there next to him...Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Truly, ADONAI is in this place – and I didn't know it!” (Gen 28:10-13a, 16)
I am sure many of us can relate with Jacob. We go about our daily routine focusing on the job at hand or we can travel to distant places but we are rarely ever aware of GOD in our midst. There are too many voices clamoring for our attention. We are too busy with work and when we get off, we get too busy having fun. Even on weekends, we work or we go out shopping or drive somewhere for a change. Almost everything that we do is for little ME. In our estimation, self is the biggest person in the universe and we must feed him continuously with new toys, new tastes, new experiences, new everything!
Jacob thought he could put one over his brother, Esau, without reaping the consequence. He cheated him out of his birthright and then even fooled his father, Isaac, and cheated Esau out of his blessing. But soon he found that feeding only his ego will ultimately lead to a downfall. Jacob had heard about ADONAI from his father, Isaac, but he didn't take the stories seriously. There were so many gods around; why only worship one? After all, his neighbors worship different gods for different needs and occasions. This practice sounds more logical and convenient. Sounds familiar? After all, his grandfather, Abraham, used to be a moon worshiper out of Ur, until he had an encounter with EL SHADDAI. But Jacob did not know EL SHADDAI personally.
The other peoples never related with their gods personally. In fact, the idea is strange to them. Men are mortal while gods were considered immortal who inhabited a different dimension and are endowed with great power and must be appeased so that they will grant them favor. They never thought that their gods were omnipresent nor omnipotent or omniscient. It was thought that sometimes they would come down to earth to make sport of men and sometimes impregnated women. They often go to battle against each other and were extremely capricious and temperamental. The gods were to be feared.
YHWH appeared to Jacob in a dream and his life was never the same. YHWH introduced himself as the GOD of Abraham and Isaac and at that moment, Jacob realized that the stories he was told since he was a little boy around campfires were true. YHWH reiterated the covenant he made with Abraham and Isaac and told Jacob that he and his descendants will expand to the west, to the east, to the north and to the south but the greatest promise was, “I will be with you, I will guard you wherever you go, and I will bring you back into the land, because I won't leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” (Gen 28:14-15) Until that time, Jacob was unaware of YHWH, but after that we can see the blessing of ADONAI on his life.
Are you conscious of GOD's presence in your life? If you are a believer, you had an encounter with the LORD YESHUA, just like Jacob, or did you? If you are a believer, you would live your life with the mark of the LORD YESHUA and you would be undergoing a transformation from day to day. You would be so hungry for His presence, your day would be characterized with secret consultations, burst of creative inspirations, light-bulb situations and challenges that would threaten your security but instead strengthen your trust in YESHUA. Sometimes, the LORD allows extreme trials that would test your resolve but are designed to build up your endurance and character.
Once upon a time, my business partner and I had an opportunity to earn more than a hundred million from a series of transactions with the government but in so doing, we had to give in to demands of paying kickback to government officials. We would be corrupting people as we corrupt ourselves also. It would have been easy to justify our situation by saying, it was the usual acceptable way to do business with government and everybody was doing it anyway. But we were not “everybody”, we were sons of the living GOD. So we abandoned the transaction.
I never forgot that lesson. The presence of ADONAI in my life is so real and means so much to me, I can't exchange it for any amount of money or anything or anyone. My relationship with my GOD is non-negotiable. I cannot be who I am not. My GOD defines who I am.
May ADONAI bless you as I am blessed! Shalom!