Daily Devotional

Jacob: The Lord is in This Place

by Simon Whitton

Jacob tricked his older brother Esau into giving him his birthright, and then he deceived his father into giving him the blessing that should have been his brother's.  Esau then talked of killing Jacob and Jacob had to flee from his brother's fury.  He set off alone to go and stay with his uncle; a hazardous journey of several weeks across rugged terrain.  One night as he slept in an exposed, barren and rocky place, he had a dream about the Lord.

When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought,
"Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it."

Genesis 28:16 (NIV)

The Lord had brought Jacob to this hard place, a place he'd rather not be.  Jacob was not one for the outdoor life.  He was a quiet man, preferring to stay among the tents.  He had just been driven out from his father's house and the security that it offered.  He was fleeing for his life, alone and fearful, across perilous country.  His past had the disgrace of his scheming and his future was uncertain.

Yet even in the midst of his trying situation, Jacob discovered that 'the LORD is in this place', that the Lord was with him.  Jacob's response to this realization was to pray:

20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear
21 so that I return safely to my father's house, then the LORD will be my God
22 and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God's house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth."
1 Then Jacob continued on his journey…

Genesis 28:20-22, 29:1 (NIV)

Perhaps you are in the midst of a difficult place in your life.  You may not be aware of it, but 'Surely the LORD is in this place'.  It doesn't matter what the circumstances are that brought you to this place, even if it's your own failure or an injustice of some sort.  'The Lord is with you and will watch over you wherever you go'.

Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head
 and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it.

Genesis 28:18 (NIV)

Allow your place of hardship, the place of your trial or difficulty, to be a pillar, like a marker in your life, between God and you.  A marker that commemorates the fact that He was with you, has never left you and has provided for you; so that whenever you look back at this difficult time in your life, you will remember it as a pillar of God's faithfulness in your life.

Turn to the Lord in prayer and meet with Him in this place.  Thank Him that He is with you in this place, for His promises to never leave you, and to always provide for you.  Put your current situation and your future in His hands.

Then get up and go on from this place, knowing that He goes with you.  And when you leave this chapter of your life behind, remember it as a marker between God and you, commemorating the Lord's presence with you.

Then Jacob continued on his journey...

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