16 Aug “Surely The Lord Is In This Place, And I Did Not Know It”
“God is with us”: Often forgotten truth
<Gen 28> 10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He 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. 13 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. 14 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. 15 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.”
16 When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” 17 He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”
18 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. 19 He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.
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 household, 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.”
God draws near us in crisis moments
- Appeared without Jacob seeking >>> How much more if we seek?
- Comes to re-confirm promises when there are doubts
- Mismatch: God’s promises grand, but Jacob’s desires small
- C.S. Lewis: “It would seem that Our Lord finds our DESIRES not too strong, but TOO WEAK. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
- God’s greatest promise: “I am with you!”
Need to personally encounter God ourselves
- Will have huge impact on our lives
- Born in Christian family? >>> Must meet God yourself!
- One-off encounter not enough, but just a start
How can we sense the presence of God?
- Be born again (Holy Spirit, Word)
- Quiet spirit
- Faith >>> See
- Anticipate seeing Him even in the ordinary and mundane
What next after realising God is with us?
- Acknowledge . Pray . Obey
- Trust and find peace
- Shun evil