Thursday, September 5, 2013

God of Wanderers and Wilderness

Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 
There above it stood the LORD, and he said: "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac... I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." 
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it." He was afraid and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven." – Genesis 28

At this point in his life, Jacob is headed backwards. God had called his grandfather Abraham to Beersheba (a land of water, wells, leisure, and peace) from Haran (“parched”), one of the two ancient capitals the Mesopotamians had dedicated to their Moon god. 

Between Beersheba and Haran, Jacob settles down for a cold, lonely night beneath the light of the very moon his grandfather left behind. 

While Jacob is in the desert between Beersheba and Haran, God meets him.