December 07, 2018

The Promise Again

Genesis 28:10-22

All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.

—  Genesis 28:14

In his dream, Jacob sees angels ascending and descending on a stairway or ladder, and above it he sees the Lord standing. God assures him that he is the God of his fathers, Abraham and Isaac. The Lord promises to be with Jacob and then repeats the promise he made to Abraham. And this time, instead of mentioning stars, God uses the image of dust spreading east and west to describe just how expansive Jacob’s descendants will be.

As a part of this promise we hear God say again, “All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and through your offspring” (see Genesis 12:3; 22:18).

Here at Bethel (which means “house of God”) we see a touchpoint with God’s promise of redemption that runs through the entire Bible. To redeem his children, God chooses Abraham’s family, and through Jacob’s descendants, who become the people of Israel, God brings his Son into the world to save Abraham’s spiritual family, made up of all who trust in God.

Like many of the stories through­out the Old Testament, the one about Jacob’s dream is a Christmas story. And in it we see and anticipate the coming of our Savior. In our anticipation and longing, may we live with hope for the coming of God’s kingdom.

God in heaven, our faith and hope look up to you. In the birth of Jesus we see that you keep your promises. Help us to live in faith and hope for his coming again. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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