Jacob’s Dream at Bethel
Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 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 28:10-11 NIV
Speak to me, God of my Father!
It is difficult to understand where Jacob came
to. It is traditionally believed that he went north from Beer Sheva, and having
reached the place that today is called “Beit El”, he spent the night and saw angels
ascending and descending from a ladder, and the Lord God stood at the top... In
1994, I happened to serve a short time in the Israeli army, in this very settlement
(Beit El). It is located near Ramallah. In general, the heavens are open there
and praying at night is very spiritual.
Another opinion says that he reached the place
where his father Yitzhak once lay on the altar. Quite possibly, in frustrated
feelings, because of the events that happened (and through his fault), he had
to hastily retreat from the wrath of Esau, and he went to where his own father
suffered. I wanted to experience God's Comfort. This sounds very plausible. We
seek solace where something is dear to us... And so, Jacob reached Mount
Moriah, the place where the Temple was built in the future, or the place where
our Lord was crucified.
The thought crept in that it is in this context
that Yeshua advises not to focus on any place:
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the
true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they
are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers
must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:23-24 NIV
And yet, the moment that, as a human being, we
go to where we know that significant events took place, there is a place to be
in our lives. It's easier to pray there. And, probably, it is important to
attach importance to the "dictations of the soul." It is possible
that Consolation is available there in a special way.
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.” Genesis 28:13 NIV
In the original language, in Hebrew, this place
sounds much richer and more powerful: Here is Adonai “nizav alav." - as if
"hanging" over him. I am sure that Jacob experienced fear and
trembling, and all possible feelings (not joy and fun for sure) at that moment.
At such moments, you become nothing and repent of everything ... but, on the
other hand: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” and, as a result,
the vision of God confirmed Jacob in his election and gave strength, both
mental, and spiritual, and physical, to overcome the next 21 years of exile/temptation/correction/affirmation.
In the book of Numbers, we read:
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his
sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: “The Lord bless
you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers
The Aaronic Blessing repeats twice "Turn
Your Face to Me". That's what Jacob experienced there, when "the Lord
hung over him." The New Testament also says:
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the
exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.
After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of
the Majesty in heaven. Hebrews 1:3 NIV
“The Image of the Hypostasis” is just about the
Face of Adonai!
Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife. My
time is completed, and I want to make love to her.”
So Laban brought together all the people of the
place and gave a feast. But when evening came, he took his daughter Leah and
brought her to Jacob, and Jacob made love to her. 24And Laban gave his servant
Zilpah to his daughter as her attendant.
When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said
to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I?
Why have you deceived me?” Genesis 29:21-25
Lavan means "white" in Hebrew. But clearly,
he was "deceptively white." His soul was obviously not so bright. He
led Jacob into sin and, in fact, provoked him to have four wives. This gave
rise to various scandalous stories, and some things, psychologically or
hereditarily, accompanied many descendants of Jacob in the future.
But it is important to consider the fact that
Jacob was restored before God, despite the machinations of Laban (the symbol of
this world). He continued with honor to carry the baton of the Restoration of
the World, which God entrusted to his grandfather and father. And Jacob was
able to pass this value on to his children! It is more important than sin and
more important than heredity.
This is a very important lesson for us - you fall
(do not push yourself), get up, recover, and go, do not sin, fulfil the Will of
the Almighty. Praise God for the promise of the New Testament “and your sins I
will remember no more”! The ancients also knew this principle - they got up,
drove away "Lavan's accusations and shame" and went forward. With God’s
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