Jacob left Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. He came to a certain place and stayed there for the night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place. And he dreamed that there was a stairway set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And the Lord stood beside him and said, “I am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring, and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring. Know that I am with you and will keep you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land, for I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Then Jacob woke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place—and I did not know it!” And he was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.”
So Jacob rose early in the morning, and he took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up for a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He called that place Bethel, but the name of the city was Luz at the first. Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God, and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will surely give one-tenth to you.”
In this story of Jacob’s dream, we are reminded of God’s faithfulness. God promises Jacob that He will be with him and will be a blessing to him and to his family that is to come. In fact, God promises that Jacob’s family will be a blessing to others. In response to this dream, Jacob promises that the Lord will be his God and that he will give a tenth of all that he has to God. If we are truly honest, we know that all our blessings and gifts are a gift from God…even the breath in our lungs this very moment is a gift. How do we live in response to God’s generosity? Do we hold tight and live in fear of scarcity? Do we share what we have with others? Are we a blessing to others? Do we show God’s love in word and deed? May we wrestle with those questions today as we give thanks for God’s steadfast love and promised goodness.
Loving God, thank You for all of the blessings in our lives: family, friends, loved ones, food on our table, meaningful work, homes to live in, and joy in our activities. Help us to name You as the source of those gifts and to respond with gratitude and generosity as faithful followers. Amen.