‘ I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord” Rejoice-in your own way- that you are in God’s presence
Prior to setting out on his own, Jacob grew up in an atmosphere of parental favoritism and sibling rivalry. His mother Rebekah received a word from the Lord during her pregnancy of great future significance: that both her children would father great nations, and that the elder would serve the younger. A distinct preference for her second twin led to the subsequent manipulation by her of events, which Jacob colluded with. His whole life up to this point has been marked by trickery and lies; if his life was described as a car driven by his mother, he was more than willing passenger.
His life has also been marked by second-hand knowledge of God. His first direct reference to God is impersonal, and a lie; and all of the above hardly makes for an auspicious beginning to his career as a patriarch. Nevertheless, he is one of the people through whom, ultimately, God is going to bring salvation to the world. In a area, he experiences a theophany, and hears the promises first made to Abraham for himself. His response to meeting with God is twofold. First, he makes an altar of his stone pillow and consecrates it; and recognizing that the Lord has revealed himself there, he names it the house of God. Secondly, he makes a conditional vow, in effect promising that if God does his part in looking after him, Jacob will respond with commitment and tithing.
Jacob isn’t the only biblical character to demonstrate that, despite being a sinful, flawed individual, he is still of great worth to God, and can still be used by him. Through his experiences, Jacob comes to acknowledge the hand of God in his life, and becomes who God intended him to be all along.
Here the Lord met Jacob, to assure him of his blessing and future promise. Reflect on your own experiences of meeting God–What characterizes them? How do you respond?