Genesis 28* Isaac sends Jacob to Padan-aram. (1-5) Esau marries thedaughter of Ishmael. (6-9) Jacob's vision. (10-15) The stone ofBeth-el. (16-19) Jacob's vow. (20-22)1-5 Jacob had blessings promised both as to this world and thatwhich is to come; yet goes out to a hard service. This correctedhim for the fraud on his father. The blessing shall be conferredon him, yet he shall smart for the indirect course taken toobtain it. Jacob is dismissed by his father with a solemncharge. He must not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan:those who profess religion, should not marry with those thatcare not for religion. Also with a solemn blessing. Isaac hadbefore blessed him unwittingly; now he does it designedly. Thisblessing is more full than the former; it is a gospel blessing.This promise looks as high as heaven, of which Canaan was atype. That was the better country which Jacob and the otherpatriarchs had in view. 6-9 Good examples impress even the profane and malicious. ButEsau thought, by pleasing his parents in one thing, to atone forother wrong doings. Carnal hearts are apt to think themselves asgood as they should be, because in some one matter they are notso bad as they have been. 10-15 Jacob's conduct hitherto, as recorded, was not that ofone who simply feared and trusted in God. But now in trouble,obliged to flee, he looked only to God to make him to dwell insafety, and he could lie down and sleep in the open air with hishead upon a stone. Any true believer would be willing to take upwith Jacob's pillow, provided he might have Jacob's vision.God's time to visit his people with his comforts, is, when theyare most destitute of other comforts, and other comforters.Jacob saw a ladder which reached from earth to heaven, theangels going up and coming down, and God himself at the head ofit. This represents, 1. The providence of God, by which there isa constant intercourse kept up between heaven and earth. Thislet Jacob know that he had both a good guide and a good guard.2. The mediation of Christ. He is this ladder; the foot on earthin his human nature, the top in heaven in his Divine nature.Christ is the Way; all God's favours come to us, and all ourservices go to him, by Christ, #Joh 1:51|. By this way, sinnersdraw near to the throne of grace with acceptance. By faith weperceive this way, and in prayer we approach by it. In answer toprayer we receive all needful blessings of providence and grace.We have no way of getting to heaven but by Christ. And when thesoul, by faith, can see these things, then every place willbecome pleasant, and every prospect joyful. He will never leaveus, until his last promise is accomplished in our everlastinghappiness. God now spake comfortably to Jacob. He spake from thehead of the ladder. All the glad tidings we receive from heavencome through Jesus Christ. The Messiah should come from Jacob.Christ is the great blessing of the world. All that are blessed,are blessed in him, and none of any family are shut out fromblessedness in him, but those that shut out themselves. Jacobhad to fear danger from his brother Esau; but God promises tokeep him. He had a long journey before him; to an unknowncountry; but, Behold, I am with thee, and God promises to bringhim back again to this land. He seemed to be forsaken of all hisfriends; but God gives him this assurance, I will not leavethee. Whom God loves, he never leaves. 16-19 God manifested himself and his favour, to Jacob, when hewas asleep. The Spirit, like the wind, blows when and where itlisteth, and God's grace, like the dew, tarrieth not for thesons of men. Jacob sought to improve the visit God had made him.Wherever we are, in the city or in the desert, in the house orin the field, in the shop or in the street, we may keep up ourintercourse with Heaven, if it is not our own fault. But themore we see of God, the more cause we see for holy tremblingbefore him. 20-22 Jacob made a solemn vow on this occasion. In thisobserve, 1. Jacob's faith. He trusts that God will be with him,and will keep him; he depends upon it. 2. Jacob's moderation inhis desires. He asks not for soft clothing and dainty meat. IfGod give us much, we are bound to be thankful, and to use it forhim; if he gives us but little, we are bound to be content, andcheerfully to enjoy him in it. 3. Jacob's piety, and his regardto God, appear in what he desired, that God would be with him,and keep him. We need desire no more to make us easy and happy.Also his resolution is, to cleave to the Lord, as his God incovenant. When we receive more than common mercy from God, weshould abound in gratitude to him. The tenth is a fit proportionto be devoted to God, and employed for him; though it may bemore or less, as God prospers us, #1Co 16:2|. Let us thenremember our Bethels, how we stand engaged by solemn vows toyield ourselves to the Lord, to take him for our God, and todevote all we have and are to his glory!
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