Sovereign Grace of God

Genesis 28:13‑29:26  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Genesis 28:13-29:26
While Jacob was dreaming he saw the Lord standing at the top of the ladder, and He said to him, “I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac.” He then promised to bless Jacob adding that “in thy Seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” The promised Seed was Christ who will bring bless­ing to all nations. God said also that He would not leave Jacob until all His promises were fulfilled. The descen­dants of Jacob (the Jews) are suffering today, but God has not forgotten these oft-repeated promises and will fulfill them in His own time which is now drawing near.
All Owed to God
When Jacob wakened from his sleep, he was afraid. His unconfessed sin made him fear the presence of God and call it a dreadful place. Then he took the stones and made a pillar, over the top of which he poured oil saying that that was to be God’s house. He owned in this way that worship was due to the Lord, but his faith was weak, and he began to bargain with God. He said, “If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and rai­ment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God.” Jacob said that he would do certain things for God if God would do certain things for him. God had already promised to do these very things for Jacob, not because Jacob deserved them, but be­cause of His own sovereign grace. He had said, “I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again to this land,” but Jacob adds his “IF” to it all. When God speaks, we never need to add our “if” to His Word, but Jacob was still a schemer. He had bargained with Esau for his birthright, deceived his father to get the blessing, and he even tried to bargain with God.
Jacob then said that he would give God a tenth, but we should give Him more than that, for we are only stew­ards of all the Lord has given us. Nor should we give to Him on certain con­ditions which we choose to make our­selves. We owe all to Him because of His sovereign grace to us when we deserved nothing but judgment.
Reaping What Is Sown
At last Jacob arrived at Haran where his uncle Laban lived. He stood by a well of water where the shepherds watered their flocks and made en­quiries as to where he could find Laban. While he was speaking, Laban’s daughter Rachel came to the well with her father’s sheep. The women, however, were in the habit of waiting until the rest of the shepherds gathered together and then they watered their sheep, be­cause they were unable to roll away the stone themselves. Jacob, therefore, rolled back the stone, watered the sheep, and introduced himself to Rachel as her father’s sister’s son. He was then welcomed to Laban’s house, and after being there for a month, Laban offered to give him wages if he would work for him. Jacob said he would work seven years for him if he could have Rachel for his wife, so this was agreed upon. However, Jacob’s reaping time must come, and he was deceived by his uncle, just as he had deceived his own father Isaac. After serving the seven years for Rachel, Laban gave him Leah. Let us remind ourselves once again, dear children, that God’s Word is still true. “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).
Further Meditation
1. Why was Jacob afraid when he awoke from his sleep?
2. See if you can find the proverb that tells you about the wicked fleeing and the righteous being bold like a lion. Once you’ve found it, can you relate it carefully to the part of Jacob’s life described in this chapter?
3. You can find lots more about the life of Jacob if you are willing to dig a little bit more deeply into it. Search by selecting the author W. Kelly and then go to the page with the titles of his various books. That will lead you to a book entitled Jacob with 26 chapters that develop the life of the patriarch in detail.