Sunday, April 9, 2017

Genesis 28:12-15 -- On Dreams and Covenants and Comfort

"And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
And, behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed;
And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of."
Genesis 28:12-15

This is an interesting dream that Jacob had while he was sleeping outdoors on his way to find a wife as his father had asked him to do.  As a result of this dream, Jacob makes a commitment to God... he tells God that if he will really do as he says and watch over and provide for him on his journey, that he will be his God, and that he will pay tithes to him.

To us, the dream seems to come out of the blue to a certain extent, but I was thinking that God was likely comforting Jacob at the beginning of a journey that was going to be long and seemed uncertain. He promised Jacob that he would be with him on the trip, and bring him home again, and confirmed that all the blessings he had given to his father would be passed on to him.  And the Lord kept his promise.

The really cool thing about these verses, for us, is that these same blessings and promises are passed down to us, through Jacob and his posterity.  As it says "in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed."  We are part of that, and because of the promises that God entrusted to Jacob and his posterity, we too can partake of the blessings and the comfort that God offers in these verses.  If we commit as Jacob did to following the Lord, God will never leave us either, and we can be sure that God will watch over us in our times of uncertainty, and help us also return home safely.

Today, let's do as Jacob did and seize the opportunity to make a covenant with God, that we will be his people, and he will be our God (Ezekiel 36:28; Jeremiah 30:22; Leviticus 26:12; D&C 42:9).  If we will agree to follow him, he will agree to do all things for us, to teach us and lead us and make us into better people than we could ever become alone... and we never will be alone, if we have his spirit to help us (John 14:18).

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