Friday, December 18, 2009

And he went out (VaYetze)

Reading portion...Genesis 28:10-32:3

God of Jacob
In this portion Jacob went out to his mom's brother's place. Then God appeared him as 'God of Abraham and God of Isaac'.

I joined a woman's Bible study group even though they had already started several weeks before I joined. The day I joined, they were studying this passage about Jacob. Then for the first time I saw how God of Abraham and God of Isaac became God of Jacob also.

After God appeared to him, Jacob said this in Genesis 28:20-22(NIV):
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 so that I return safely to my father's house, then the LORD will be my God 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."
Jacob got to his uncle's house, met Rachel, married Leah, then Rachel, and he had children. After working for his uncle for 20 years, he left his father-in-law's house. Then God appeared to him again in Genesis 35 (NIV):
1 Then God said to Jacob, "Go up to Bethel and settle there, and build an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you were fleeing from your brother Esau." 2 So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. 3 Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with wherever I have gone."
I see that God indeed answered Jacob's first prayer (Gen. 28) and now God has become Jacob's God!

This reminded me of a story I heard on the radio many years ago. A student at a seminary always prayed for other people, being a good seminary student, but never prayed for herself. A personal/social problem happened and she did not know how to handle it. Then a professor told her that it is okay to ask God for guidance for her personal problems. The student was amazed that the professor would say something like that...but then she decided to pray for herself. In the meantime, the professor and his wife prayed earnestly for her because the professor really wanted this girl to experience God in her daily life. And God answered all of their prayers in a very personal way that no one expected. Then she became a changed woman. Her face was glowing because she now experienced how much God cared for her. God became her personal God. God will be everyone's personal God because He is willing!

God of Abraham and Isaac is now God of Jacob also. Jacob experienced God in his personal life. God is his God now.

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