Devotional & Reflection
Gen 28:12-15 : Re-visioning the Vision
Gen 28:12 He (Jacob) 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. v13 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. v14 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. v15 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."
Have you ever had a dream stumbled, side-tracked or shattered by circumstances? Yes, it happens. And we wonder whether our dream is just our wishful thinking, a pipe-dream or a nightmare. And we really need God to assure us that the dream is God's vision for us and not part of our self-concocted, fleshly desires.
Jacob was in such dire circumstances. Life was beginning to be his worst nightmare. He thought he could enjoy his deceptively inherited birthright and blessings. However, he was as good as dead if he were caught by his twin brother, Esau. So instead of enjoying Isaac's blessings, Jacob was on the run, on the run back to where his family came from. He was actually moving out from the Promised Land back to Haran in Paddan Aram (Gen 28:7, 10). It was like losing the dream that you could have and seemed to have right in your hands.
Looking at Jacob's blessings, one may think that sometimes we need to help God fulfill His promises - even by deception. After all, wasn't Jacob the one who received the birthright and blessing because of his deceptive scheme with the help of Rebekah?
However, nothing is further from the truth than this.
How dare we think God cannot fulfill His promises without our devious or deceptive schemes - being unrighteous in the process. Abraham and Sarah learnt that with Hagar producing an Ishmael.
So when we are tempted to help God fulfill His promises to us, we better think twice. We may end up in exile like Jacob. God always has a better way than our ways and schemes (Isa 55:9).
But in spite of man's mistakes and Jacob's mistakes and schemes, God's promises to Abraham and Isaac were still to be fulfilled through Jacob. This merely points to God's faithfulness in fulfilling His promises in spite of man's fallen nature.
I have also learnt much as I meditate on Genesis. I am currently in transition for instance. I was called to be a pastor, ordained as a reverend, but circumstances have put a "pause" button or KIV on a fully supported ministry. As I reflect and write these devotionals, I too have learnt not to engineer my own plans and schemes. Let God direct. It has been trying and uncertain at times. But God has been faithful.
At times such as this, we need to meet God just as Jacob did. Is this our own dream or God's dream? It seems like our own dream because we are in exile or in transition - like Jacob. No direction. In transition and in a state of flux. Yes, we need to meet God - whether in a dream or a vision or a supernatural word of knowledge. We need to re-dream the dream or re-vision the vision. Without this, we would be tossed about - wondering if the dream was our own fleshly dream.
If it is not our self-devised desires, then God's plans for our lives can be stumbled by the evil one, usually through the sins of men e.g. Joseph's brothers were jealous and sold him as a slave. But God can turn to good what was meant for harm (Gen 50:20). Sometimes God allows the temporal stumbling to develop us in character, leadership, giftings, skills etc. But most importantly, God wants us to develop a relationship with Him in the whole waiting process. God wants us to be with Him - just as He wants to be with us. Yes, God says, "I am with you" (Gen 28:15). Seek after Him.
As we seek the Lord, His kingdom and His righteousness, cleansing ourselves of the flesh, God wants to re-confirm His vision and promise for us and assure us just as He did to Jacob that:
"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." (Gen 28:15)
In your dire straits, it may seem like God is sleeping or forgotten you. But he says that He is watching over you. And He may well appear to you directly, or through someone, in a dream (like Jacob) or a vision or a word. Don't give up seeking Him as He is near. And as you encounter Him, He will help you re-vision the vision.
we can't stand the burden any longer,
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