Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Using Rock as Pillow - an Experience to Meet God for Jacob

Genesis 28:10-22 NIV

(10)  Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran.
(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 house, 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."

Sometimes when we think about meeting God, we always think that it has to be in a conducive environment of a comfortable church, equipped with hi-tech equipments, good music, etc. But in this passage, Jacob met God in the MIDST of tiredness, fresh from his unpleasant stress with Esau, with nowhere to lay his head except on one of the rocks.

[Note: The journey from Beersheba to Haran was a long one of about 550 miles. Why didn't Jacob get a rented room to sleep on?It could be either when Jacob arrived, the gates were already closed, or he was so depressed that he didn’t want to be sociable. Click here for a fuller explanation on this.]

But in the end, Jacob said:

"How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven."

What did Jacob do? He slept. He dreamed. He only had rocks with him to be used as pillow.
Sleeping using rock as pillow can turn into an awesome experience of meeting God.

It is not about us. It is not about our doings. It is not about our music, not about our buildings, it is His doing.
We can meet God in the simplicity of things around us.

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