looked different than Moses.
He didn’t have to travel
around the same old mountain -
He experienced a rolling stone.
Jacob left Beersheba, his hometown,
and traveled to Luz
where he had a dream and saw the Lord.
In his dream he had a vision
of a ladder extending
between earth and Heaven.
Many angels of God
went up and down,
and at the top stood the Lord himself.
The Lord spoke to Jacob
just as he had with Moses,
and so many prophets that came after him.
The Lord 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.
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.
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.”
When Jacob woke up he thought,
“Surely the Lord is in this place,
and I was not aware of it.”
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.”
Jacob took the stone
that he had used as a pillow,
and set it up as a pillar
and poured oil on top of it.
He changed the name of town
from Luz to Bethel,
and made a vow, basically saying,
“If God will be with me
and take care of me and protect me
on this journey, and safely return me
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.”
“Then Jacob continued on his journey
and came to the land of the eastern peoples.”
I would have thought
the scripture would have said,
the land of the northern people,
since Harran is northeast of Israel.
It’s interesting that Moses referred
to the region of Asia Minor as the East.
When Jacob arrived,
he saw a well in the open country,
with three flocks of sheep lying near -
waiting patiently for water to come from it.
There was a large stone
over the mouth of the well -
a stone that would be rolled away
when the sheep were gathered
and ready to be fed.
The stone would be placed on again,
when the sheep were hydrated
and cooled once again.
Jacob asked the shepherds,
My brothers, where are you from?”
“We’re from Harran,”
they replied to him.
He said, “Do you know Laban,
“Yes, we know him,”
they answered to him.
Then Jacob asked them,
“Is he well?”
And they said,
“Yes, he is, and here comes
his daughter Rachel with the sheep.”
“Look,” Jacob said,
“the sun is still high;
it is not time for the flocks
to be gathered.
Water the sheep
and take them back to pasture.”
I wonder, why was Jacob so eager
to get rid of them?
Why did he want them to hydrate
and go back to pasture?
“We can’t,” the shepherds replied,
“until all the flocks are gathered
and the stone has been rolled away
from the mouth of the well.
Then we will water the sheep.”
The men were not intimidated
by Rachel the female shepherd.
They expected her sheep
to drink from the same well as them.
“While he was still talking with them,
Rachel came with her father’s sheep,
for she was a shepherd.
When Jacob saw Rachel
daughter of his uncle Laban,
and Laban’s sheep,
he went over
and rolled the stone away
from the mouth of the well
and watered his uncle’s sheep.”
removed the large stone
from the mouth of the well -
He did not sit back and wait
for the traditional methods to go on.
He was strong
and acted in instinct
as a true gentleman.
This story reminds me of Jesus
and the stone and the empty tomb;
and it reminds me of the virgins
and the bridegroom.
“Then Jacob kissed Rachel
and began to weep aloud.
He told Rachel that he was a relative
of her father and a son of Rebekah.”
As soon as Rachel
heard the good news,
she ran and told her father,
Laban about Jacob, his sister’s son.
Laban hurried to meet Jacob.
And when he saw him,
he embraced him and kissed him.
This story reminds me of the father
and the prodigal son,
but we will soon see
it’s actually the other way around.
Laban is the bad one,
and Jacob is the man
who wrestles with God.
Laban brought Jacob into his home,
and there Jacob told him all the things
that had happened to him.
Then Laban said to him,
“You are my own flesh and blood.”
After Jacob stayed with him
for a whole month.”
Unlike Moses, God took Jacob
directly to his destination -
much like Abraham’s servant
when he was sent
to find a wife for Isaac.
The story of Jacob’s journey
had just begun -
God brought him out of Canaan -
where he was born
and had him return as Israel.
the name given to God’s Holy Land.