Turmoil is a word none of us like to use to describe our lives. Whether it is our personal life, family life, work life or church life, we are working trying to avoid turmoil.
But as we know, turmoil will come or already is in our lives.
In Genesis, chapters 28 and 29, we see Jacob’s life in turmoil. Yet God reveals himself to Jacob.
True believers all have an inner heart desire for God to reveal Himself to them. God also desires to reveal himself to his people.
Lost people today want to know the truth and see if God is a vital part of it. Our relationship with God should have an altering impact on our lives. The truth we know is eternal, and how it impacts our lives should be the billboard the world sees.
Jacob’s life was impacted when God revealed Himself in Genesis 28. Jacob is around 77 years old. He has worshiped with Isaac. He has heard the family history, how God talked to Abraham and Isaac. He had heard about the promise made to his family.
Until this time in his life he never had God speak to him. Jacob’s family has gone from a godly, praying one to one with deceit, favoritism, competition and hatred.
Jacob and his mother tricked Isaac into giving Jacob the blessing that Esau should have had. To save his life, he had to leave home. At this point he was ready to hear from God. To see how God revealed himself, we must look at four factors in Jacob’s life:
Jacob is alone. Until now he had always been part of a family; they lived together and worshiped together. Dad (Isaac) was in charge. Now Jacob was on his own.
Jacob was on the verge of a new phase in his life. He had left home because of stealing from his brother.
Jacob was doing everyday tasks when God revealed himself. Jacob was trying to sleep and trying to figure out what to do next. We need to make time to seek God every day.
Many of God’s saints will tell you that God often reveals truth to them as they walk through everyday jobs or are just being quiet.
What lessons can we learn from Jacob?
God’s revelation of himself can come at any time or place. Read Genesis 28:13 and Acts 28:16.
God’s revelation will cause us to fear. Genesis 28:17 reads, “And he was afraid, and said, ‘How dreadful is this place.’” Jacob said it was dreadful; God told him it was the house of God and the gate to heaven. Jacob saw himself for the first time, before God. He saw how he was grieving God.
God’s revelation will constrain us to give ourselves to serve him (Genesis 28:20-21). “And Jacob vowed a vow, saying if God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God.”
God’s revelation will move us to give our possessions to him. Genesis 28:22 reads, “And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.”
God’s revelation will prompt great joy. Genesis 28:1 tells us, “Then Jacob went on his journey and came into the land of the people of the East.” Jacob was greatly joyful, finding his mother’s brother and a woman named Rachel. We see Jacob stay with Laban a while.
When turmoil comes our way, look to God and have the faith he will bring you through.
Joseph Merriman is pastor of First Baptist Church of Greenfield. This weekly column is written by local clergy members.