JACOB’S LADDER OF PRAYER (Genesis 28:10-22)
Verse of 2017 – Part 3 January 15, 2017
Rev. Jeremy B. Stopford, Pastor
INTRODUCTION. “Today’s Special”: “The Smith’s 2 Sons”
Mr. and Mrs. Smith had two sons. One was named Mind Your Own Business & the other was named Trouble. One day the two boys decided to play hide and seek. Trouble hid while Mind Your Own Business counted to one hundred. Mind Your Own Business began looking for his brother behind garbage cans and bushes. Then he started looking in and under cars until a police man approached him and asked, “What are you doing?” “Playing a game,” the boy replied. “What is your name?” the officer questioned. “Mind Your Own Business.” Furious the policeman inquired, “Are you looking for trouble?!” The boy replied, “Why, yes.”
Today, we continue with our theme of faith. Once again, please zero in on the underlined question of our memory verse: “when Jesus comes, will He find faith on the earth?” As the nation tomorrow celebrates Dr. King and his famous “I have a dream” speech, our text today also tells of a dream – one that might change your life not just for today, but for eternity! PRAYER
#1 THE FAMILY BLESSING HAS ITS TROUBLES
* 27:27-29 The Blessing, through whom the Messiah will come
* 27:41 The Curse of Esau- trying to be in God’s place
* 27:46; 28:1-2 The Holy Marriage – Isaac’s acceptance of God over the flesh
* 28:3-4 Isaac recognizes the true blessing
#2 A “CERTAIN” PLACE (28:10-11)
a. The travel – by the sun (v. 11) – kind of a neat picture into OT travel
b. The Omniscient oversees the frail. Note all the common stuff that is in this picture: “Jacob” (an ordinary man).
Traveling. “A certain place” – he stopped because the sun was down (perhaps he didn’t like to travel when it was dark, and headlights would glare in his eyes?). “Stone” for a pillow – he needs rest. ALL are common occurrences, but God interrupts the common with the eternal.
c. Illustration: “God leads” verses. Read this verses depicting God’s leading and ask yourself a very probing question -“Can He do that with us?”:
(1). And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.
Deut. 8:2. Moses’ remembrance of the wanderings
(2). “So the Lord alone led him, And there was no foreign god with him.”
Deut. 32:12. Moses’ remembrance
(3) “You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, Even from the rebellious, That the Lord God might dwell there.” Ps. 68:18. prophecy on Messiah
(4) “Have you not brought this on yourself, In that you have forsaken the Lord your God When He led you in the way?”
Jer. 2:17. Jeremiah’s oversight on Israel’s forsaking the One Who led them.
#3 JACOB HAD A DREAM, TOO (with apologies to MLK Jr.) (28:12-17)
Several keys here:
a. “Stairway” (NIV) = “ladder”
b. What were the angels doing? Interceding for the saints. How do I know? (Hebrews 1:13-14)
c. A place of communion: even the angels knew that in order to serve God well, they have to be in regular contact with Him.
d. Therefore: Jacob’s ladder is a ladder of prayer
Is your ladder a ladder of prayer? Do you maintain constant communion/fellowship with the living and true God?
e. God Himself confers the Abrahamic covenant.
Note His promise: Hebrews 13:5
CONCLUSION – JACOB’S CONCLUSION (vs. 18-22)
1. Bethel – the house of God – his place of worship
When God’s child got into trouble, he always went back to where he last saw God – Bethel.
2. The BIG IF: FAITH connection – trusting God’s Word
3. Note Jacob’s only needs: food, clothes, shelter – Matt. 6:33,34
4. When God honors His Word, I will be a person of generosity (v. 22)
Remember our 2017 Verse of the Year: “…However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8b)
close in prayer