The Dream and the Covenant

Today’s Readings:
Genesis 27-28
Matthew 8:18-34


10 Jacob left Beer-sheba and set out for Haran. 11 He reached a certain place and spent the night there. When the sun had set, he took one of the stones at that place and put it near his head. Then he lay down there. 12 He dreamed and saw a raised staircase, its foundation on earth and its top touching the sky, and God’s messengers were ascending and descending on it. 13 Suddenly the Lord was standing on it and saying, “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying.14 Your descendants will become like the dust of the earth; you will spread out to the west, east, north, and south. Every family of earth will be blessed because of you and your descendants. 15 I am with you now, I will protect you everywhere you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done everything that I have promised you.”

16 When Jacob woke from his sleep, he thought to himself, The Lord is definitely in this place, but I didn’t know it. 17 He was terrified and thought, This sacred place is awesome. It’s none other than God’s house and the entrance to heaven. 18 After Jacob got up early in the morning, he took the stone that he had put near his head, set it up as a sacred pillar, and poured oil on the top of it. 19 He named that sacred place Bethel, though Luz was the city’s original name. 20 Jacob made a solemn promise: “If God is with me and protects me on this trip I’m taking, and gives me bread to eat and clothes to wear, 21 and I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God. 22 This stone that I’ve set up as a sacred pillar will be God’s house, and of everything you give me I will give a tenth back to you” (Genesis 28:10-22, Common English Bible).

How does God speak to us? There are many ways. We can hear the voice of God when we read Scripture or hear a sermon. We can hear the voice of God when we listen to others speak to us, children or adults. We can hear God speak through the wind blowing or the sound of rain coming down on our roof. We can hear God through many other sounds in nature.

The way we can hear God I want to focus on today is, we can hear God speak in our dreams. I know, I know. There are plenty of skeptics out there who would say God working through our dreams is impossible. But I believe, those same people would probably declare any form of divine speech to be invalid.

Of course, they are wrong. Most of us who believe, accept the stories, like today’s lesson, where God speaks through dreams with little if any question. We also might just be a person with whom God has spoken through a dream.

Some years ago, early in my ministry, I awoke in the wee hours of a Saturday morning, after a particularly vivid dream. I had written my sermon much earlier in the week. I was ready to go. I woke up following that dream knowing God was speaking to me through that dream that I was supposed to preach something different. Later that morning I went over to my study at the church. I sat down and started writing. In 45 minutes I walked out of the church, sermon in hand. It is still the fastest I have ever written a sermon.

In our lesson today Jacob has a dream. It a dream where God speaks to him about a covenant God is making with Jacob. Thankfully, Jacob recognized his dream for what it was before it was too late.

Has God spoken to you before, in a dream?

With Joy and Thankfulness,

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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