Behold, Yahweh stood above it, and said, â€œI am Yahweh, the God of Abraham your father, and the God of Isaac. The land whereon you lie, to you will I give it, and to your seed. Your seed will be as the dust of the earth, and you will spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south. In you and in your seed will all the families of the earth be blessed. Behold, I am with you, and will keep you, wherever you go, and will bring you again into this land. For I will not leave you, until I have done that which I have spoken of to you.â€Â Â Â Â Â Genesis 28:13-15 (WEB)
Yahweh, you have searched me, and you know me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up.
You perceive my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue, but, behold, Yahweh, you know it altogether.
You hem me in behind and before. You laid your hand on me.
This knowledge is beyond me.Â Â Â Â Psalm 139:1-6 (WEB
The Word to me today is that the knowledge of God’s love is really beyond my ability to understand.
Jacob has met with God. Jacob is given promises by God. He will have descendants as numerous as the dust on the ground. And those descendants will cover the earth. Now Jacob did not have a concept of the reality of that promise. He didn’t know how big the earth was. He didn’t know about the Western Hemisphere. And as extraordinary as that promise was, look at the last two sentences.
â€œBehold, I am with you, and will keep you, wherever you go, and will bring you again into this land. For I will not leave you, until I have done that which I have spoken of to you.â€
God. Creator of all that is â€“ makes the promise that He will not leave me. Do I get this? The promises made to Jacob were also made to his descendants. They were made to me. They were made to you.
God will never leave me. Would you go to the Mall of America with your infant child and just leave them? â€œI’m sorry, child. You’re too much trouble. You’ve been too naughty. I’m going to go find some child who is better.â€ God is the perfect parent. He loves without conditions.
God knows that I will go off His path. He will not leave me and He will bring me back to the place He has for me. If I shake my fist, turn to my way, God will be there when I realize that my way didn’t work and turn back around. He will lead me home. He will not leave until He has completed the work in me (Philippians 1:6).
God knows me. He knows every dusty hidden corner. He knows every corner of my mind. There is not a thought that I have that He does not hear. And despite knowing all this about me, God chooses to be right here with me. He isn’t standing off and away from me. He is here. In front of me, behind me, wherever there is a place, God is there with me.
Genesis 28:17 says that Jacob was frightened by God being in the place with him. When I allow God to come close, am I frightened? What frightens me? Think about that.
I can keep God at a distance if I just keep walking a bit off His path. I can say my memorized prayers, sing my distant songs, as I show up for the obligatory one or two hours each week. Take time off during the summer and holidays. Don’t get too fanatical about God. Just believe in Him but don’t make Him the #1 priority or head of my home. Don’t give God the final control. (Notice I said â€œgiveâ€.
Romans 8 was another lectionary text for this week. It also tells me about the depth of Jesus’ love. I am going to be marinating in that study, in His presence this week. Will you join me?