“Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. 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. And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: ‘I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. 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.’ Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, ‘Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.’ And he was afraid and said, ‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!’ Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously. Then Jacob made a vow, 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. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.’”
Rebecca Overheard What Isaac Said to Esau
In Genesis 27, which is the prior chapter to today’s Scripture passage, it is recorded how Isaac blessed his son Jacob. Isaac was very old and he had failing eyesight. It was at this time when he called his first son, Esau and said, “Let me bless you abundantly before I die. To do so, go out to the field and hunt game for me and make me my favorite savory food. Then I will eat it and bless you.” Esau then went out to the field to hunt game for the savory food his father loved.
But Rebecca happened to overhear what Isaac was saying to Esau. Rebecca then called Jacob her younger son, and told him, “Your father is going to bless your brother. He went out hunting. So, do quickly what I am going to tell you, and pretend as if you were Esau so that you will be blessed by your father.” Jacob was afraid to obey his mother at first, saying, “Mother, how can I do this thing? Esau is a hairy man but I am smooth-skinned. If I do this then father will find out the truth right away. I will be most likely to be cursed for deceiving him instead of being blessed. I really can’t do that.”
Rebecca then urged him to obey her with much assurance, saying, “If that happens, let that curse be on me. If things go wrong, I will be cursed, but if things go well, you will be blessed. So just obey what I am telling you to do. Go to our backyard and bring me from there two choice kids of the goats. Then I will make your father’s savory food and give it to you. Put these goatskins on your body. Then put on your brother’s clothes before you go to your father with his food.”
Jacob Did As His Mother Ordered by Trusting in Her Words
When Jacob heard his mother’s promise to take the blame and bear the consequences even if things would go wrong, he then obeyed her and took the savory food to his father. And he said to Isaac his father, “Father, I am Esau, you’re first born son. I brought your favorite savory food. Eat this food and bless me.” Today’s Scripture says this happened when Isaac was very old and his eyes were dim. Isaac, who was weak in sight, was unable to discern if the son who brought him the savory food was in fact Esau. So he said, “Please come near to me so that I can touch you,” and felt Jacob, who was wearing goatskins. He felt the thick and rough hair. Since Esau, his first-born son, was a hairy man, he believed that this son in front of him was Esau.
Now Jacob, lowering his voice could boldly say to his father, “My father, I am Esau, your first-born son. I brought you savory food. Bless me.” It is written that he trusted his mother and disguised himself as his brother by putting on his clothes and goatskins before taking the savory food to Isaac. Isaac wasn’t so sure so he had to feel the son in front of him and smell him. Isaac smelled Esau from the clothes that Esau always wore. Convinced that this son was Esau, Isaac said, “The voice is Jacob’s but the body is Esau’s.” After he ate the food, Isaac blessed him as follows:
“Surely, the smell of my son
Is like the smell of a field
Which the LORD has blessed.
Therefore may God give you
Of the dew of heaven,
Of the fatness of the earth,
And plenty of grain and wine.
Let peoples serve you,
And nations bow down to you.
Be master over your brethren,
And let your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
And blessed be those who bless you!” (Genesis 27:27-29)
Isaac blessed Jacob in this way. It was Jacob who received such blessings. Because of what happened here in Genesis 27, Esau tried to kill his brother who took his blessings away. So Jacob had no other choice but to run away from his brother Esau.
God Blessed Jacob for His Faith
The Bible tells us that this event occurred when Isaac became weak-sighted. What does this mean to us? It means that God does not look at us as we look at others with physical eyes, but He looks at our faith in His Word of blessing, and blesses those who have such faith. This is correct. God does not look at our weaknesses, insufficiencies, achievements or failures. He just blesses those who come before Him with their faith in His Word and His righteousness to receive His blessings; He blesses them with the same blessings that were given to Jacob. The Bible says that Isaac, as God’s representative, blessed Jacob. Jacob received these blessings, for he obeyed his mother’s words, which spiritually means the directions of God’s Church. The blessings he received stemmed from his faith.
When Isaac blessed Jacob, he said,
“Surely, the smell of my son
Is like the smell of a field
Which the LORD has blessed
Therefore may God give you
Of the dew of heaven,
Of the fatness of the earth,
And plenty of grain and wine.” (Genesis 27:27-28).
What does this mean? It means Jacob himself was the field of God’s blessings. God gives the blessing of the dew of heaven, the fatness of the earth and plenty of grain and wine to those who have faith in God’s Church.
He also blessed him to be the king of many nations. Isaac continued to bless him, saying,
“Let peoples serve you,
And nations bow down to you.
Be master over your brethren,
And let your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
And blessed be those who bless you!” (Genesis 27:29)
Not only peoples would serve Jacob but his brother Esau would also serve him as his master. Whoever curses Jacob will be cursed by God, but whoever blesses him will be blessed too. In short, Jacob was greatly privileged.
We need to take our ‘savory food’ of faith to God, to receive spiritual blessings as Jacob did. Then what would be this savory food to God? It is our faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Because God so loved us, He remitted all our sins away once and for all with the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Thus, He adopted us as His children and blessed us with the heavenly blessings and the fatness of the earth. God also blesses those who bless us, and curses those who curse us. In other words, God blessed not only Jacob but also those who have the same faith that Jacob had.
God’s Word Breaks Down Human Ignorance
People tend to think that they will be blessed if they do something good before God. But the Bible does not say this. It rather tells us that we will be blessed when we come to God with the faith that pleases God. Like this, God’s Word breaks down our human thoughts. Humans think that union with people will lead to success, but the Word of God says that our human thoughts oppose God. For example in Genesis 11, the descendents of Noah built the Tower of Babel, but they were cursed by God contrary to their hopes and dreams. What does this mean? This implies that God is not pleased when humans gang up against Him, but He is pleased when we put our faith in His Word. Therefore, only this faith in His Word brings us blessings.
We can become God’s children by believing in the righteousness of this true God. We can be blessed to become the children of God through faith in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. God blesses only those who believe that He has given them these heavenly blessings and the blessings of the fatness of the earth. In other words, God blesses those who believe in God’s Word. The Bible clearly tells us so. This is the reason we should smash all our fleshly thoughts before God’s Word. Become united with people according to human thoughts will not please God at all. I want you to know that believing in and obeying God’s Word is true faith and the only way to receive His blessings.
Jacob Dreamed during His Fugitive Journey
Jacob snatched the blessings from his brother Esau, so Esau tried to kill him. Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” Rebecca overheard these words, and sent Jacob away to save his life. She sent him to her brother’s home, where it would be safe for him. Today’s Scripture passage from Genesis 28 describes that when Jacob arrived at a certain place after sunset during his fugitive journey, he took one of the stones of that place and put it under his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed a dream. The Bible writes what he saw in his dream. Let’s look at this Scripture together.
Genesis chapter 28 verses 12 through to 15 says:
“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. And behold, the LORD stood above it and said: ‘I am the LORD God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. 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. This is what he saw in his dream.
He had this dream while he was fleeing from his brother for deceiving him of his blessings that were given by the fathers of faith. In his dream he saw a ladder reaching to heaven and the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And the Lord stood above the ladder and said, “I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants.” “The Lord God” in this verse refers to “Jehovah” or “Yahweh” in Hebrew this word means, “He who exists by Himself.” It is the name of the Triune God. This God told Jacob that He would give him the land on which he was lying, and this land refers to the land of Canaan.
We should pay close attention to what God told Jacob. The Lord God said, “I am the Lord of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac.” This means God would become the God of Jacob as well. It is because he was blessed by Isaac in the name of the Lord. The prayer was certainly asking for God’s blessings in the form of Isaac laying his hands on Jacob’s head as he prayed. Now the Lord God appears before Jacob and tells him that He is the God of the fathers of faith as well as the God of Jacob. “I am the Lord of Abraham your father, the God of Isaac. I will give this land to you and your descendents. I will bring you back to this land.” This Word of promise implies that Jacob became one of our forefathers of faith, who inherited the blessings from God. This also indicates that God is the God of those who have the same faith as Jacob did. God does not become God to just anyone unconditionally. He becomes God only to those who believe in His Word. This will always be true. This God lives forever and becomes the Lord of those who faithfully believe in His Word. God blesses such people, leads them to Heaven, and pours out heavenly blessings and the blessings of the fatness of the earth upon them. Through this message today we can learn that God becomes the God to those of us who have received the remission of sins and that He guides us to heaven. This is what God said. He promised that He would surely bring the blessings as Isaac had prayed for Jacob. This promise means God will take care of His people, lead them to the Kingdom of Heaven, be with them and bless them. God will bestow these same blessings that He gave Jacob to those who spiritually become the successors of Jacob’s faith. You and I who have received the remission of sins have now become receivers of the same blessings as Jacob had. We should know this fact. And we should believe in it.
When God appeared before Jacob, He said,
“I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham, the God of Isaac. I am also your God. Although you are on your fugitive journey, I will bring you back to this land. And I will protect you. I will curse whoever curses you, and I will bless whoever blesses you.” This is the covenant that God made with His people. This is what God promised His people who have truly been born of water and the Spirit. He promised us that He will not allow anyone into the Kingdom of Heaven unless they are born again. He said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). The blessings and promises that God mentioned to Jacob are the very same blessings and promises that He gave to those who have received the remission of sins.
Then, whose God is the self-existing God? Whom does this God bless? Only those who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with their whole hearts are able to serve God as their God. The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob is also the God to us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. God also said this in the New Testament. “But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matthew 22:31-32). Our God became the God to those who have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit with their whole hearts. Who then are those who have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? They are people like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Those who have received the remission of sins like our forefathers of faith are the children of God. It is truly so. God becomes the Shepherd and God to those who have received the remission of sins, and He pours out all kinds of blessings upon them.
Then what would happen to those who curse the children of God? God will never fail to curse such people. On the other hand, God will bless those who bless the children of God. No matter where they live, God will bring His children to His Church, lead them to His Kingdom, bless them in every way and treat them dearly as the citizens of His Kingdom. All these are the blessings for all people who have received the remission of sins and become heirs of Abraham in a spiritual sense by believing in the Word of God.
These blessings are exciting indeed! You and I, we who have received the remission of sins, are the truly blessed by God. You also can become the source and vessel for such blessings only if you receive the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Although the source of all blessings is Jesus Christ, whoever has the righteousness of Christ by receiving the remission of sins can become the field of blessings and the vessel of blessings for people in this world, just as God told Abraham how he would become the source of all blessings. Dear fellow believers, do you believe this? This is right. Having such great blessings from God is just so very exciting for us.
God did indeed bless those who blessed Abraham. And He indeed cursed those who opposed Abraham. Whoever blessed Abraham was really blessed, but whoever cursed him became the accursed. What does this mean? It means that you and I, who are born again by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, have become very special people before God. Who then can oppose, antagonize and persecute us whom God so cherishes? Whoever dares to persecute the people of God should know this: If they wish to become accursed, all they need to do is just persecute these children of God.
You Should Become a Jacob Spiritually by Faith
Spiritually speaking, you and I are all Jacobs. We should remember that we are all like Jacob in a spiritual sense and we will be blessed before God in the same way as he was. Those who have become spiritual Jacobs, live with pride in their faith, for God has given them such great blessings. They do not have any shame. Those who have received the remission of sins are precious and blessed people and they are people who share the blessings with everyone. This is why the ‘spiritual Jacobs’ are the barns full of great blessings. God Himself showed up before Jacob and told him that He is the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob as well. To those who believe in the Word of Jesus Christ, God will protect them, and bless them both spiritually and physically as their God.
Therefore, if anybody wants to be blessed by God, they have to believe in His Word that is written in the Bible; and they must believe in Jesus Christ who came by the water and the Spirit. Jesus Christ came to this world, was baptized at the age of thirty by John the Baptist to take over all the sins of the world, carried them to the Cross, died on it and rose from the dead to give us the blessing of being born again. People in the world should now know that God blesses those who receive the remission of sins by believing in Jesus Christ with their whole hearts. God has given us such an amazing message through the Bible and He did really give us such blessings.
However, Jacob did not know he was abundantly blessed by God at first. In other words, his father Isaac prayed a benediction upon him, but he did not fully realize who he had become. That is why he was running away from his brother Esau. When his brother Esau drew his sword, saying, “Jacob, you con man! Take the challenge. You, man of an earthworm!” Jacob started to flee saying, “I am an earthworm just like what you said. I will be cut in half when you swing your sword. Why do you have to come to me so violently?”
What does this mean? Jacob really received all the blessings from his father Isaac, but he did not know God had become his God. He did not experience any blessings from God yet, nor did he understand that God had given him the same blessings that his forefathers had received. That was the reason why God appeared before him and told him these Words in his dream on his fugitive journey as he was sleeping on the roadside. For the first time he understood that God had really become his God. Therefore, he treated that place as the temple of God, poured oil out and named that place Bethel. The Hebrew word “Bethel” means “House of God.” Not until that moment, did he realize that the God of Abraham had also become his God.
Likewise, when did we start to believe that the God we have believed in was the God of you and me? When we are really tired and facing serious hardships, we can come to the realization that “God is my God, my Savior and my Shepherd.” We can experience this God of blessings in the midst of such difficult situations. This is right. Jacob, on his fugitive journey also experienced what he had never known.
In the Old Testament times God used to talk to people in their dreams. God’s angels often delivered His messages. But how does God talk to us nowadays? God talks to us through this Holy Bible. After experiencing God through His Word in the Scriptures, we also make the same vow as Jacob’s to God, 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 can come back to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You” (Genesis 28:20-22). People say these things only after they experience their personal God through hardships even though He has been always their God from the beginning. They should have known this fact a long time ago.
What did Jacob do whenever he encountered difficulties? He always reminded the God of Bethel, saying, “Then let us arise and go up to Bethel; and I will make an altar there to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and He has been with me in the way which I have gone” (Genesis 35:3). God also revealed Himself to Jacob as the God of Bethel, saying, “I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed the pillar and where you made a vow to Me” (Genesis 31:13).
Let’s take a brief look at what kinds of difficulties Jacob had and what he did to go through such difficulties. It took Jacob 14 years to obtain two wives while he was living in Padan Aram. He intended to come back to Bethel with much possession from God’s blessings, but he decided to stay somewhere on the road. Unfortunately, his daughter Dinah went out to see the Gentile people and got raped. Then Jacob’s twelve sons deceived them into becoming circumcised and slayed them all. After this incident, Jacob became so fearful that he told his household to bury all the foreign gods under a tree and to go up to Bethel, where God had met him. As a matter of fact, God had already given Jacob all kinds of blessings unconditionally. But he was very calculating before God and treated Him conditionally. In today’s Scripture reading we read that after Jacob saw God in his dream, he poured oil on that stone on which he had slept on that night and made a vow to build a house for God there. He made this vow 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. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You” (Genesis 28:20-22). Since Jacob was a mere human, it is understandable that he thought in this way. The only thing that was left in his mind was that God had become his God. He was a descendant of the forefathers of faith such as Noah, Abraham and Isaac. His brother was born from that same bloodline, but only Jacob became a child of God. In the same way, out of so many people in this world, only those who believe in the Word of God and have become born again can be acknowledged as God’s children. So, God can only become the God of those whom He acknowledges, and He blesses them only. Jacob had to know that he had been blessed by God. And he also had to realize this fact even more deeply as he went through his life.
Just like his father, Jacob also chose only one son to bless and he wasn’t the eldest son either. Receiving blessings from God is not decided according to the birth order. Whether one is the eldest or the youngest, only the one who trusts God’s Word fully gets the privilege to be blessed. The truly blessed people are those who believe that Jesus removed all their sins with the water and the Spirit. They are the ones who share their blessings with others with such faith; and they are the ones who preach the way to be blessed to others by faith. Therefore, you and I should believe in the fact that we have become the children of God and keep preaching the way of faith from our belief in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Spiritually Jacob Is the Source of Blessing
What we should remember through today’s Scripture reading is that God always works with those whom He became God to. And God makes those people a source of blessing through whom other people in the world will be blessed. This is correct. You and I who have been blessed by God have now become the vessels that deliver blessings to all the nations in the world (Matthew 28:19-20). We have been entrusted with this Great Commission since our sins were all completely remitted away, and we are all blessed by God just as Jacob was. We need to have faith in this truth. You are definitely blessed in the same way as Jacob was. God talks to us in the same way as He did to Jacob. He blesses us in the same way. We need faith to believe in this. Are you following me?
As we go through this world, there are times when we are fleeing like Jacob, times of trouble and times of happiness. No matter what, we should always remember that, “I am God’s child. I am God’s servant. I have become a vessel of blessings by God.” We should also profess to ourselves, “God will bless those who bless me, but curse those who curse me. No matter where we go, God will lead us to the land of Canaan. God is our God, and we are His chosen people.” You and I should have such a faith and live by such a faith.
Just as God blessed Jacob and the other ancestors of faith, He blesses His people in today’s world in the same way. What is important is whether or not we have such a faith as the people of God. How foolish and pathetic would it be if we lived without knowing such blessings that we have already received from God? Therefore we should know and believe in the fact that God has already blessed us. There is a huge difference between enjoying such blessings and living a shameful and miserable life. I hope all of us who have received the remission of sins will live by faith, believing that God is our God. I really want you to believe in the fact that the almighty God has already blessed you abundantly. There are a lot of people who claim to be believers of Jesus Christ on this earth, but we who are born again through the water and the Spirit, are the most blessed people.
The Bible talks about the Truth of God by comparing Jacob and Esau frequently. Esau was a strong man and good at hunting and pleasing his father by bringing him game for his favorite savory food. On the contrary, Jacob was very cunning, insufficient and weak. But who received the blessings from God in the end? It was this insufficient Jacob. The reason he could be blessed was that he listened to his mother’s instructions, word for word.
In the Bible Jacob’s mother Rebecca denotes God’s Church. Then whom is Isaac talking about? Yes, Isaac represents God. God does not look at our abilities or disabilities. God does not look at whether or not we have carried out praiseworthy deeds. What God looks for in us is whether or not we have the same faith as that of our forefathers of faith and whether or not we come to Him with such a faith. God tells us that He blesses only those who come to Him with such a genuine faith.
Look at those who are blessed by God. How are they getting blessed? Those who confirm God’s Word through the Church of God and trust in the Word just as it is, receive blessings just as Jacob did. God is telling us through this written Word in today’s Scripture reading. What does He say? When the son obeyed everything his mother told him to do, he was able to receive all the blessings that his father gave him. This means we become blessed through the Church of God by believing in the Word of God.
For this reason the Church of God is a very crucial organization on this earth. The Bible describes the Church as a mother. The Bible also depicts Jesus Christ as the Bridegroom and the people who received the remission of sins are described as the brides of Jesus Christ. This is correct. From a spiritual perspective, Jacob’s mother is the Church of God and Jacob’s father represents God. Therefore people who believe in the will and the Word of God that God bestows through His Church receive blessings just like Jacob. That is why all people in this world should believe in God’s Word that is preached by this Church of God. God’s Church delivers God’s Word as it is recorded. In this sense, the Church of God is such an important organization to every believer. The Church of God is the mother of faith. All the people in the world become blessed through the Word of Truth preached by the Church. Do you believe this? You and I therefore ought to worship and praise God within this Church as often as we can. We should keep our hearts in the Church, do good deeds in our respective mission fields and preach the Word of Truth to people as we live out our lives.
People in the world have chances to receive salvation and blessings when you are shedding the light of Truth in your current positions. They cannot be blessed without you who have been born again prior to them. Why is that so? The Lord called Jacob and us “the field God has blessed.” According to God’s Word, people in the world become blessed through us, the field of God’s blessings. Those of us who have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit should live by faith that we have become God’s own people. Not only should we believe that the Lord has become our own Lord, but also should we believe that the Lord has given us the dew of heaven and the fatness of the earth.
Even if God gave you these blessings, it would be of no use if you did not believe just like Jacob did at the beginning. You cannot get any benefits out of God’s blessings if you have your own fleshly thoughts and plans. You need to trust and follow even when you do not know how God will bless you. God told us that we the righteous should live by faith.
The Lord became the living God to Jacob. He gave Jacob abundant blessings. God became the Lord to those who believe in the Word that Jacob told us about. This way the Lord became the Lord of the living, not the Lord of the dead. This is the reason why the Lord said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” Since the Lord is the everlasting God, He gives salvation to believers and leads them to Heaven but throws unbelievers into the unquenchable fire of eternal pain. This is right. The Lord is not the Lord of the dead but of the living.
You and I are the Jacobs in a spiritual sense. We the spiritual Jacobs should live by faith. Do you follow me? Whoever recognizes the children of God and listens to their words will receive blessings. On the contrary, whoever opposes the children of God will be cursed. There is no exception.
Do you think the righteous are bluffing for no reason? No, they are not. We who are born again through the water and the Spirit are noble people. We may look plain in some way, but we the born-again righteous people are sharing the Word of the Lord and all the blessings from God; and we help people in need and preach the gospel of the water and the Spirit to them. We take full advantage of the blessings by trusting in this Word of the Lord.
I want you to know that you have become Jacobs in a spiritual sense. Do you understand me? We are spiritual Jacobs! We have already received the same blessings that Jacob received. You have really received such blessings and so have I. This is such an awesome event. I thank God for giving us such blessings.