Sermon: Perils of Christian Life
Scripture: Genesis 28 vs 13-22
Jacob dreamed a dream! We all dream! Sometimes our past seems like a dream! We ask ourselves, did that really happen?
We have all had those times when we wake from a dream and it seems real. Then we go back to sleep and go right back to dreaming! We can’t escape. It seems so real to us!
First let’s look back at the perils of Jacob – Jacob was always looking over his shoulder.
Jacob Runs Away to Laban
41 Esau was angry with Jacob. He was angry because of the blessing his father had given to Jacob. He said to himself, “My father will soon die. The days of sorrow over him are near. Then I’ll kill my brother Jacob.”
42 Rebekah was told what her older son Esau had said. So she sent for her younger son Jacob. She said to him, “Your brother Esau is comforting himself with the thought of killing you.
43 “Now then, my son, do what I say. Go at once to my brother Laban in Haran.
44 Stay with him until your brother’s anger calms down.
45 Stay until your brother isn’t angry with you anymore. When he forgets what you did to him, I’ll let you know. Then you can come back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”
After a hard day’s journey, during which Jacob must have kept looking over his shoulder for his angry brother, he finally lay down to sleep but didn’t even have a sleeping bag. In fact, he had to use a rock as a pillow. You would have expected Jacob to have nightmares of his brother chasing him.
Instead Jacob received this curious dream about a ladder and angels. Best of all, he saw God and heard him say: “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” (Genesis 28:15).
In the same way, the hour or so we spend each Sunday in God’s house also gives us comfort and the reassurance of God’s presence and forgiveness—comfort and reassurance that renew our strength and lift our spirits so that we can continue on our journey in life when we leave this house of God. When we enter God’s house, we get our spiritual batteries recharged so that we’re ready to go back into the world,
Even though we have our traditions and way of doing things we must always be reminded that when God speaks to us we need to be ready to listen.
11 He reached a certain place and stopped for the night. The sun had already set. He took one of the stones there and placed it under his head. Then he lay down to sleep.
12 In a dream he saw a stairway standing on the earth. Its top reached to heaven. The angels of God were going up and coming down on it.
13 The LORD stood above the stairway. He said, “I am the Lord. I am the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your children after you the land on which you are lying.
14 They will be like the dust of the earth that can’t be counted. They will spread out to the west and to the east. They will spread out to the north and to the south. All nations on earth will be blessed because of you and your children after you.
15 “I am with you. I will watch over you everywhere 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.”
16 Jacob woke up from his sleep. Then he thought, “The LORD is certainly in this place. And I didn’t even know it.”