10 ¶ Then Jacob departed from Beersheba and went toward Haran.
11 He came to a certain place and spent the night there, because the sun had set; and he took one of the stones of the place and put it under his head, and lay down in that place.
12 He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
13 And behold, the LORD stood above it and said, “I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie, I will give it to you and to your descendants.
14 “Your descendants will also be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and in you and in your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
15 “Behold, 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.”
16 ¶ Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.”
17 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.”
18 So Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on its top.
19 He called the name of that place Bethel; however, previously the name of the city had been Luz.
20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear,
21 and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the LORD will be my God.
22 “This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”
1 ¶ Then Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land of the sons of the east.
Verse 11 says that Jacob came to a certain place. This “certain place” was the prelude to a revelation of the Lord. Each of us also must come to a certain place. God prepares our hearts for a fresh revelation of Himself. We each come to our “certain place” as God leads us. For Jacob, God gave him a dream in which He reaffirmed the promises that He had first given to Abraham and Isaac before him.
Jacob awoke from His dream and said, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I did not know it.” He then said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.” This is the way the revelation of the Lord comes to us. We are smitten by “seeing” Him. Our hearts are met. Jacob set up an altar and worshipped God. He made vows to God based upon what had been revealed to him. We too worship God through the revelation we receive. We make a commitment of dedication based upon how He reveals Himself to us.
Verse one of the next chapter says that Jacob then went on his journey. This journey led to many things. He fell in love with Rachel and served Laban, her father, seven years in order to marry her. But he was tricked by her father and received Leah, her sister, instead. He then served another seven years to get Rachel. During this period Laban cheated him and changed his wages ten times. The number ten holds special significance in the Scriptures. It denotes a time of testing and a cycle of completeness. In all, Jacob spent 20 years with Laban. He got a double portion of the dealings of the Lord!
After Jacob finally left Laban’s house, he then went on to encounter his brother, Esau, whom he had deceived in order to obtain his birthright, years earlier. Jacob was initially afraid of Esau. He feared that Esau would take his life. It was during this period of conflict that Jacob crossed over the stream Jabbok and wrestled with the angel of the Lord. We know that Jacob emerged from this “wrestling match” with a name change. He was no longer Jacob, but Israel. Now, here is the point to all this. Prior to Jacob’s journey, he had a revelation of the Lord. All that preceded after that was to bring him into the fulfillment of that meeting with God. And so it is with us. There cannot be a revelation of the Lord to us without there also being a “journey” we embark on. A journey always follows the revealing of the Lord. This does not happen just once, but as often as the Lord reveals Himself to us. If we are without the many journeys in our lives, we must question whether the Lord has really revealed Himself to us. These journeys are indicative of the Lord’s dealings in our lives to bring us into fulfillment. With every revelation of the Lord there is a corresponding journey that prepares us to walk in it. We are to see every journey through to its conclusion. Only then do we experience the “name change.” In the realm of spirit, we experience many journeys. It is not a one-time sojourn. We go from level to level, ascending higher into God. Each time the Lord meets us in a special way, we can expect a new journey to begin. Just as the seasons change, our relationship with the Lord also changes. We could state this spiritual truth from another perspective out of Heb. 12.
5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”
7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten?
8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.
9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live?
10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.
The above passages operating in our lives assures us that we are sojourning with God.