Day 1: Vayetze/Genesis 28:10-22
Yacov, upon leaving his home in Beersheba, went to Bethel and arrived there after sunset. Then, he picked up a rock from that place and used it as his pillow for the night. This rock was from the land that YHVH had set apart for His children and was part of their possession and inheritance forever. Not only was it deemed special due to this, but it was significant because it had been promised through the Covenant to Abraham and to his seed. The land was tied to that Covenant as much as his seed would be tied to both the land and the Covenant. The land would need to be redeemed, cleansed, and occupied, just like YHVH’s elect would need these actions in their lives.
The selection of a rock for a pillow by Yacov takes on significance in this light. Yacov did not sleep on just any ground, he slept on sacrosanct eretz/earth, in which YHVH had chosen specifically for Israel to dwell and from which YHVH was to be sought.
Once asleep, with his head upon the rock, Yacov dreams of a ladder with angels of Elohim ascending and descending on it. This could be likened to the visualization of YHVH’s Word. It goes out from Him and returns to Him only after accomplishing what He sent it out to do. Furthermore, His Word sends His angels from His presence to do His will and they return to Him with completed missions. Similarly, YHVH’s Word sends man on his journeys going to and fro over the face of the earth. That is exactly where YHVH gives this dream to Yacov, at the beginning of a journey going out to accomplish YHVH’s plan in creating a nation for His possession.
Not only was Bethel to be a geographical point of distinction for YHVH and His children (possibly even yet to be fulfilled), but it could have been the last place Yacov slept while within the borders of Canaan at that time (the smaller land of Israel with the Jordan defined as a border). YHVH desired to get Yacov’s attention so that this servant would realize Who He was to serve and in what capacity.
Thus, Yacov makes a vow that tests himself and the Ruach of YHVH that is leading him. If YHVH would bring Yacov back to the Land, while keeping him, feeding him, and clothing him, then Elohim would be his Elohim, Bethel would be Elohim’s house, and a tenth of Yacov’s earnings and provision would be given as a fulfilled vow offering. The importance of this vow is not that Elohim would be Yacov’s Elohim, but that Elohim would be proven faithful, Yacov would be faithful in his vow, and that a relationship built of faith and trust would be established.
The place, dream, and vow are all important for Yacov to remember. The coming and going of YHVH’s angels is significant as it pointed out that Elohim’s servants return to the Most High, after accomplishing all that they are tasked to do. In short, this would have encouraged Yacov that he, too, would fulfill his destiny and abide in YHVH and in the Promised Land. He would be supplied all his needs and he would be multiplied in finding a wife that his parents were sending him to Haran to marry.
YHVH is faithful to us. We may or may not see ladders reaching into heaven or angels going to the throne and back again. But we do know that YHVH is true to His Word and faithful to the promises made to our forefathers.
Sometimes, YHVH has us work for Him or do His will without our knowledge or our understanding. It’s not that He manipulates us; rather, it’s our own ignorance of spiritual portent in our daily lives. In all things, our lives accomplish what He desires and has planned. We may not have any inkling of what the journey ahead holds in store for us; yet, if we know YHVH is in control and place our faith and hope in Him, He will bring us or place us exactly where we need to be, in the time we need to be there. This goes for end-time events, job, and income needs, family obligations, and all that concerns us.
Like Yacov, we are to set out with the understanding that YHVH will do these seemingly monumental accomplishments on our behalf, not assuming He won’t. He, in turn, requires us to fulfill our vow to love, serve, and abide in Him, keeping His Covenant and His Word.
Dwell upon Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares YHVH, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.”