In a Certain Place - Genesis 28

In a Certain Place

Genesis 28:1-22

Jacob was the son of Isaac and Rebekah.  He had a twin brother, Esau, but they were not identical twins.  In fact they were quite different.  Jacob was mild; Esau was wild.  Jacob's name means supplanter or deceitful, and his character was true to his name.  In Genesis 25 he bought Esau's birthright for a bowl of stew, and in Genesis 26 Jacob stole his brother's blessing from their father, and he had to run for his life.

He was headed for Haran to find a wife but on this night he found himself in "a certain place."  It was a place without a name in the middle of nowhere.  The small city of Luz was nearby.  There Jacob was homeless and alone.  He took a stone, used it as a pillow, and fell asleep.  Genesis 28:11.

"Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it."  Genesis 28:12.  In John 1:51 Jesus Christ likened Himself to that ladder.  It is through Him that we get from earth to heaven.

And then Jacob saw the Lord, standing at the top of the ladder.  He spoke, repeating the promises He had made to Abraham and Isaac.  He added, "Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you."  Genesis 28:15.

Can you imagine how comforting and assuring God's word was to Jacob?  That night when Jacob laid his weary head upon the hard stone in that desolate place he never expected the Lord to be there for him, the liar and deceiver.  "Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it."  Genesis 28:16.

A fearful Jacob had something to say about that place in the middle of nowhere.  He said, "How awesome is this place!  This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."  Genesis 28:17.  God is present in unexpected places, and He reveals Himself at unexpected times.  Even the middle of nowhere is an awesome place when the Lord is there.  This testimony rings true throughout the Scriptures, time after time.

Jacob responded to the Lord's promises with a promise of his own, saying, "If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father's house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God...."  Genesis 28:20, 21.

That morning Jacob's pillow of stone became a pillar, anointed with oil, and a memorial of consecration to the Lord.  "And he called the name of that place Bethel," which means the house of God.


Loving Father, You are an awesome God.  Neither time nor place is a problem to You.  Thank You for Your abiding presence and Your unfailing promises.  Like Jacob, we acknowledge that You are our God.  In Jesus' name.  Amen!


Wrestling with God - Genesis 32


All About God

Scripture taken from the
New King James Version.
Copyright ©
1979, 1980, 1982
by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Used by Permission.
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