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No sooner are the people of God brought within the bond of the covenant, than persecution ariseth. Jacob having obtained the blessing, is obliged to flee to Padan-aram, to avoid the fury of his brother. The sacred historian relates in this Chapter, the memorable events of his journey. He is favoured with divine manifestations: God confirms to him the promised blessing: assures him of his gracious favor and protection: impressed with a deep sense of thankfulness for those visions of God, the Patriarch vows to have the Lord for his God, and to dedicate himself to his service forever.
Observe how cautious the Patriarchs were of mingling the holy seed: Ezr 9:2-3 ; 2 Corinthians 6:14 ; Acts 2:40 .
Hosea 12:12 .
Observe the same blessing still carried on. It is here called Abraham's blessing. And what is that but the gospel blessing of the Lord Jesus; on whom, and in whom alone, all blessings center. Precious expression! A multitude of people. Hebrews 12:22-23 ; Revelation 7:9 ; Numbers 23:10 .
How different was the departure of Jacob to form an alliance, from the plan adopted by Abraham for Isaac. Genesis 24:0 .
Observe the policy of Esau. It was to please his father, not with a view to obtain the favor of God. And moreover, whom did he marry? The issue of the bond-woman, not the free. Still you see pursuing carnal, not spiritual objects. - Mahalath is called Bashemath. Genesis 36:3 . Nabojoth, Genesis 25:13 .
Called Charran, Acts 7:2 .
Perhaps never one apparently more forlorn and friendless, when he lay down. Perhaps never one more blessed, before he rose up.
In the early ages, a very usual method, in which the Lord communicated himself to his people, was by visions and dreams.
Is not this a beautiful type of the Lord Jesus? Are not all revelations of God to man, made through the medium of Jesus Christ? John 1:18 . Did not this ladder represent the constancy of the communication kept open between the Lord and his people? The top reaching to heaven, representing the divine nature of Christ; and the bottom resting on the earth, his human nature. And the angels of God ascending and descending, do they not confirm that scripture, Hebrews 1:14 ? And throw a light upon that precious declaration of Jesus, John 1:51 .
Observe how at every renewed visit of the Lord to his people, that first, and best of covenant mercies, is again confirmed: Genesis 17:7 .
All promises are in Christ, and with Christ; all promises are connected. And Reader! do not forget how the Holy Ghost taught the church to apply his to all Christ's seed. Hebrews 13:5-6 .
What gracious effects divine manifestations leave on the mind! Reader! would you know whether the Lord hath revealed himself to your heart? Look within. See what hath God wrought! What traces hath the Holy Spirit left behind. Jacob felt surprise, holy fear, gracious assurance, devout meltings of the heart towards God, solemn dedications of the soul, and the warmest thanksgivings.
Revelation 1:17 ; Matthew 17:6 .
How sweet and grateful this token of God's love, and Jacob's sense of it. What must have been the Patriarch's view of it twenty years afterward, when he came back to it again: See Genesis 32:9-12 .
Bethel, means the house of God. Luz, means an almond-tree. When souls are awakened and brought into the bond of the covenant, gracious names supply the place of those which are natural.
A vow is a solemn transaction of the soul with God. I believe, that every truly awakened believer, desires to dedicate himself to God, when God makes known the riches of his grace to him. Genesis 31:13 .
1 Timothy 6:8
God's house, means a spot made sacred to God's worship. Genesis 35:14; Genesis 35:14 .
Reader! may you and I learn, from this interesting account of Jacob's pilgrimage, that when the providences of our God seem most to frown, the gracious tendencies of God are perhaps most smiling. And let the truly awakened soul say, whether the sweetest seasons have not been those, when, like the Patriarch, tribulations from the world have been most powerful. But I must not close this Chapter of Jacob's mercies, when the visions of God began with him, without first requesting the Reader not to overlook the precious outlines which are here drawn by the Holy Ghost of Jesus's manifestations to all his people. Is it not by him that a channel of communication is opened to our souls for access to God, when like Jacob, we have left our father's house, and are as wanderers on the earth? Is He not the way, and the truth, and the life, by which all mercies come down, and all praises and prayers go up, through his divine mediations. And is it not by him alone, that we humbly hope, when all the pilgrimage of this life is over, to come again to our Father's house which is in heaven: to which hope we are begotten by his glorious undertaking, and his accomplishment of our redemption? Precious, precious Jesus! be thou with me, and keep me in the way that I go; and give me food and raiment convenient for me: fill my soul with the bread of life, and clothe me with the garment of thy salvation; then wilt thou be indeed the Lord my God; and I shall be thine, in an everlasting covenant, not to be broken.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Genesis 28". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16