God Promises His Presence

Open Your Bible

Genesis 12:1-7, Genesis 17:1-8, Genesis 26:1-6, Genesis 26:23-24, Genesis 28:10-22, Genesis 32:24-30, Genesis 35:9-12, Acts 3:25

Jacob had done it. Maybe he felt shock and relief that he’d actually pulled it off, convincing Esau to surrender his birthright. Maybe he felt the knot of remorse in his gut as he laid down under the stars with a stone for a pillow. Perhaps he tossed and turned a little, regretting and second-guessing, as he drifted off to sleep as the new bearer of the family promise, his dreams filled with light and color.

Angels! Climbing a ladder, up and down. Hearing a voice his father and his grandfather spoke of so fondly, declaring, “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac” (Genesis 28:13). And that same voice repeated His promises which included good land and countless descendants who would bless the whole world (vv.13–15).

This promise wasn’t new. His father Isaac heard it when God told him to stay in a strange land and trust Him through a famine (Genesis 26:1–6). Years before, this same promise led Abraham away from everything he’d known in Haran (Genesis 12:1–7), and he would continue to hear it again throughout his life (Genesis 17:1–8).

I can’t help but wonder about the years in between, the years of living off strange land and living with family who sometimes stirred up more trouble than blessing. In the midst of unfulfilled plans, each generation had the words of God’s promise passed down to hold onto. And God appeared again and again to unlikely, fallible people to repeat His promise.

“Look, I am with you,” God assured Jacob as the ladder evaporated into the space between dreaming and sunrise. “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go” (Genesis 28:15).

Most of us aren’t holding out for a plot of land and kings in our family tree, but it can be just as easy to miss God’s promises to us in our own lives. Over and over, as God repeated His promises, God’s people continued to live colorful lives, listening to God yet failing, repenting, and then breaking relationships, only to come home limping in shame—quite literally, in Jacob’s case.

Isn’t that all of us, though, in the great spiritual family of Abraham? We may not trace our blessings by bloodline, but we find them in Jesus, the One who lived a blameless life that only Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob could dream of. Jesus is the One who came to be God’s presence among us, showing us the way, sealing the promise, and blessing the whole world through His life, death, and resurrection.

Centuries after Abraham gazed at the stars and left his homeland behind, a former fisherman and friend of Jesus would repeat the promise one more time: “You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your ancestors, saying to Abraham, And all the families of the earth will be blessed through your offspring” (Acts 3:25).

The ultimate blessing is so much more than land, power, influence, or wealth. The blessing is found in Jesus, “God with us” (Matthew 1:22–23), living and dying and defeating death to reunite His family and live with us forever.

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39 thoughts on "God Promises His Presence"

  1. Karen Breaux says:

  2. Victoria E says:

    Thank you Donna for sharing !