In Genesis 28:11 Jacob reached a ‘certain place’, where he exchanges the soft comfortable pillows he had always known for a rock.
Today’s Reading: Genesis 28:1-29:35 (additional reading Psalm 11:1-7 and Proverbs 3:11-12)
Key Verse: 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. Genesis 28:10
In our reading today we find Jacob on the run from his brother Esau because under his mother’s advice he tricked his elderly father Isaac and stole Esau’s blessing. Until this point of his life he lived under the comfort of his home, now things are drastically changed. He becomes a fugitive, his mother is no were in sight to give him advice, far away from the securities of home and family.
In Genesis 28:11 he reached a ‘certain place’, where he exchanges the soft comfortable pillows he had always known for a rock. This ‘certain place’ is a hard place. Maybe today you have arrived in a ‘certain place’ in your life. Perhaps you are at a new point of your life. Maybe you are in a time of uncertainty.
I once read that when a mother eagle builds her nest she starts with thorns, broken branches, sharp rocks, and a number of other items that seem entirely unsuitable for the project. But then she lines the nest with a thick padding of wool, feathers, and fur from animals she has killed, making it soft and comfortable for the eggs. By the time the growing birds reach a flying age, the comfort of the nest and the luxury of free meals make them quite reluctant to leave. That’s when the mother eagle begins “stirring up the nest.” With her strong talons, she begins pulling up the thick carpet of fur and feathers, bringing the sharp rocks and branches to the surface. As more of the bedding gets plucked up, the nest becomes more uncomfortable for the young eagles. Eventually, this and other urgings prompt the growing eagles to leave their once-comfortable abode and move on.
Look at what God offers Jacob in Genesis 28:15,
- Companionship (I am with you),
- Safety (I will watch over you wherever you go),
- Guidance (I will bring you back)
- Personal guarantee (I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised).
Now that Jacob realizes God is in this ‘certain place’ it becomes ‘an awesome place’. What changed about Jacob was his perspective, he went from encountering hardship to encountering God. The rock pillow that was a symbol of hardship becomes a symbol of worship (Gen 28:18-19).
Rabbi Abraham Heschel observed, “Faith like Job’s cannot be shaken because it is the result of having been shaken.” This reminds us again that comfort is not the avenue to maturity. Jacob’s methods had made him a fugitive, but now the fugitive who was running from his problems becomes a pilgrim journeying with God.
- Are you in ‘a certain place’?
- How is God using the situation to move you on in your faith?
- How can you rest on God’s promise never to leave you and to do all that He has promised?
Father, Thank You that you never leave us and that you do all that You have promised. Help us today to trust You and to step out of our comfort zones and into the place You are calling us. Change us to be the people you want us to be, In Jesus’ name, Amen