Tuesday, January 26, 2010
From stone to diamond
Jacob was definately a stone. He was a conniver. Cheated his brother out of the family fortune with his mother's collusion. Created such a rift in the family that his relationship with his dad was never the same again. Had to flee from his angry brother and as a result never saw his mother again.
Yet in the midst of all his brokeness there was a passionate pursuit of God.
All mixed up. Not perfect at all.
Our church has a motto that gets repeated a lot. "No perfect people allowed!"
So here is jacob on the run. God meets him.
10 "Meanwhile, Jacob left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran. 11 At sundown he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night. Jacob found a stone to rest his head against and lay down to sleep. 12 As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from the earth up to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down the stairway.
13 At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham, and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I am giving it to you and your descendants. 14 Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions—to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. 15 What’s more, I am with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. One day I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have finished giving you everything I have promised you.”
A wonderful promise from a loving God.
16 "Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I wasn’t even aware of it!” 17 But he was also afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God, the very gateway to heaven!”
18 The next morning Jacob got up very early. He took the stone he had rested his head against, and he set it upright as a memorial pillar. Then he poured olive oil over it. 19 He named that place Bethel (which means “house of God”), although the name of the nearby village was Luz."
Jacob is on the way from being an ugly rough stone.
To being a beautiful diamond.
All was needed was pressure. Lots of it. And it is coming...
Jacob's response to God's promise was a contract of sorts. It is a laughable, really. "If you do this for me, God, I'll do this for you...
20 "Then Jacob made this vow: “If God will indeed be with me and protect me on this journey, and if he will provide me with food and clothing, 21 and if I return safely to my father’s home, then the Lord will certainly be my God. 22 And this memorial pillar I have set up will become a place for worshiping God, and I will present to God a tenth of everything he gives me.”
But God accepted it, flaws and all.
Because after all, we are all on the way to becoming diamonds.
(All that is needed is a lot of pressure!)