Jacob – The One Who Took the First Steps of Faith, Met God at Bethel

Jacob – The One Who Took the First Steps of Faith, Met God at Bethel

Introduction

Jacob’s life was all about transformation—from a deceiver (Jacob=supplanter or “one who takes the heel”) to a prince with God (Israel).

  • Jacob’s journey of life began with deception. He was a grabber (wanted to grab all that he wanted—he grabbed his brother’s leg at his birth (Genesis 25:26). He later grabbed his brother’s birthright (Genesis 25:29-34), and finally, he grabbed the firstborn’s blessing as well (Genesis 27:24-29).
  • Jacob’s journey of faith began in Gen 28, while running away from Canaan to Padan-aram, at Bethel. The journey progressed to becoming a prince with God (Israel)—(Genesis 32:28), and ended with Jacob pronouncing the patriarchal blessings to his sons (Genesis 49), where he announced the first advent of the Messiah through the lineage of his son Judah (Genesis 49:8-10).
  • What a blessed transformation!

Jacob’s first steps of faith (Genesis 28):

Step of Honoring Parents (vv 1-9)

  • He learned the lesson of non-compromise from his father (v 1)
  • Sadly, his brother Esau did exactly the opposite (26:34-35; 28:8-9)
  • The first step of the journey of faith is the honor and respect we give to our parents.
  • When we honor our parents, spiritual blessings be abundant on us (vv 3-4; cf Exodus 20:12; Ephesians 6:1-3).

Step of Listening to God and Experiencing His Presence (vv 10-17)

When we are in the right path of spiritual journey, the Lord speaks to us. For Jacob, on his way to Padan-aram, the LORD met him at Bethel.

This is one of the most beautiful occasions a person can ever imagine in his life. Jacob was in a desperate and sad situation because of all that happened before. But, the beautiful part of the story is this that the LORD remembered him.

  • The LORD there confirmed the Abrahamic covenant with Jacob (vv 13-15).
  • Jacob acknowledged his failures of recognizing the presence of God (v 16).
  • Now he acknowledged that the LORD is always present with him (v 17).

In the journey of faith, we should always make sure that we are within the will of God. And, it is the most important thing in life to make sure that we are in the house of the LORD.

Step of Worship & Submission to God (vv 18-22)

When the Spirit of God is at work in our lives, He opens up our spiritual eyes and enables us to see the spiritual significance of our lives and offer our physicals as spiritual offerings unto the LORD. This is true transformation!

  • He made the stone pillow as a stone of sacrifice for the LORD, and it became an alter for the LORD (vv 18-19, 22).
  • He counted all his possessions are the Lord’s blessings, and pledged to honor the Lord by giving the tithe (v 22).

This is true worship! In true worship, we not only receive, but we joyfully give unto the LORD.

Conclusion

What is true transformation?

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2)

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