February 07, 2006

Life on the Run

Genesis 28:10-22

"I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go ..." Genesis 28:15


Jacob had messed up and was running for his life. It's not surprising that he'd be exiled from his home. Jacob's name means "deceiver," and he had lived up to it--swindling his brother and hoodwinking his father. Now he was on the run to Haran, where he would later learn to deal with the deceptions of his Uncle Laban. Jacob spent the night in no-man's land. Even God seemed to have forsaken this place. But here Jacob saw a vision of heaven's gate. God showed him a ladder, or stairway, that reached from earth to heaven. Jacob also saw the Lord, who promised to give him this land and to bless all the world's peoples through him. Out in the middle of nowhere Jacob was promised full life and a future with God. So he called the place Bethel--"house of God"--and, as we might expect, Jacob made a vow that sounded more like a deal than a promise. But that didn't nullify God's gracious promise to Jacob. It's disturbing the way God can catch us on the run--and keep on loving us. Some of us are on the lam from our past, even today. We're in a tight place, trying to slip out from under some major mistakes. But at this moment God is showing us the way out. Did you know that Jesus describes himself as Jacob's ladder, the gateway to heaven? (See John 1:51; 10:9; 14:6.) He is the bridge by which we can enter into the presence of God.

Lord, we thank you that no matter how badly we mess up, you keep coming to find us. Help us to trust ourselves to Jesus, knowing he can make all things right again. Amen.

About the author — Bob Heerspink

Dr. Robert Heerspink was director of Back to God Ministries International from 2006 until 2011, when he passed away. He had previously pastored several Christian Reformed churches. Bob loved to write and was a frequent contributor to the Today devotional.

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